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Occam
2010-Feb-15, 07:45 AM
Hi folks,

Given that it looks like the Ares booster and the Orion programme is going to be canned, that effectively kills any return to the moon for quite some time.

I have a question for the engineering types here, about the space shuttle.

Now I know the shuttle is designed for low Earth orbit transfer only but (and here is my question) would it be at all feasible, to adapt it for lunar transit?

Not being an aeronautical engineer, the numbers sail right over my head but my thought was this: I believe the payload of the shuttle is about 50,000lbs or so. Would it be at all possible to convert that payload space to carry extra fuel and a lander, especially if the launch vehicle were adapted with, say, an additional solid rocket that could conserve some of the liquid fuel normally used to get into orbit?

I admit this is a somewhat idle question that occurred to me this morning, while I was stuck in a traffic jam but I'd love to know the answer. Is the shuttle completely incapable of leaving LEO under any circumstances, or would it be achievable with some adaptations? It seems to me that such a plan with existing technology and hardware would be a lot cheaper than 're-inventing the wheel'.

Regards - Occam

pzkpfw
2010-Feb-15, 08:06 AM
If a shuttle is sent to the Moon, it ends up coming back faster than it can safely re-enter the Earths atmosphere at. Slowing it down takes fuel, getting that fuel there and back takes more fuel etc.

It's just not built for that mission.


This has been discussed, search may or may not find the threads...

astromark
2010-Feb-15, 08:08 AM
Pure and speculative... Yes.
I would suggest a multiple launch system. One shuttle payload of fuel or a tank to fuel the mission. The second shuttle carries the lander and crew... maybe a third launch of fuel required... I do not see any issue with getting a shuttle to the moon and back. It might need to tow its fuel tank... just like it does at launch. I do foresee a issue with slowing the returning shuttle for safe re-entry...
Could it happen ? Yes.
Will it happen ? No.

pzkpfw
2010-Feb-15, 08:09 AM
Some googling:

http://www.bautforum.com/space-exploration/54933-fly-me-moon-shuttle.html

http://www.bautforum.com/space-exploration/13210-could-shuttle-used-go-moon.html

(This one for fun: http://www.bautforum.com/conspiracy-theories/81132-moon-landing-denied-stephen-hawking.html !)

Van Rijn
2010-Feb-15, 08:11 AM
Hi folks,

Given that it looks like the Ares booster and the Orion programme is going to be canned, that effectively kills any return to the moon for quite some time.

I have a question for the engineering types here, about the space shuttle.

Now I know the shuttle is designed for low Earth orbit transfer only but (and here is my question) would it be at all feasible, to adapt it for lunar transit?


In theory, maybe, but it would never be practical and would take at least as long to set up as to just go with new hardware. Here's a previous thread on it:

http://www.bautforum.com/space-exploration/54933-fly-me-moon-shuttle.html

which linked to this PDF on it:

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19910014907_1991014907.pdf

It assumes the development of Shuttle C. These would make repeated flights to LEO to supply the fuel for a shuttle/ET combination to go the moon. There would be a number of modifications required for the shuttle and the requirement for the development of a cryogenic orbital fuel depot.

And, for all that, the shuttle could carry very little payload there. The shuttle has a lot of extraneous mass that you just don't want to carry for something like this.

Jens
2010-Feb-15, 08:13 AM
It seems to me that such a plan with existing technology and hardware would be a lot cheaper than 're-inventing the wheel'.


This topic seems to come up a lot. Considering that there are only 3 shuttles left, which are going to be retired anyway because they're too old, it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. A better question might be, why not use a Saturn V?

antoniseb
2010-Feb-15, 08:14 AM
... I'd love to know the answer. Is the shuttle completely incapable of leaving LEO under any circumstances, or would it be achievable with some adaptations?...

In my mind the shuttle fleet is getting pretty old now, but let's assume that we could make them fly without risk. To get the Shuttle to fly to a lunar parking orbit, you'd need to launch a full external fuel tank (of some size or another) for it to dock with. Safety requirements forbid putting his tank in the Shuttle's cargo bay if humans are on board. I'm not sure about a few things:
- How much fuel would you need for the delta-v to make the trans-lunar injection, and the two delta-v times to enter and exit lunar orbit.
- Can the shuttle tolerate hitting the Earth's atmosphere with an extra 8000 miles per hour initial velocity.
- Are there any places in the shuttle that are safe against a solar storm.

I'm guessing that items 2 & 3 are deal breakers for using the shuttle to go to the Moon, but I look forward to more knowledgeable contributors saying something concrete about this.

Occam
2010-Feb-15, 08:17 AM
Thanks for the info and the links, folks. The excessive return speed makes sense to me - I never thought of that at all. I guess that, as a thought experiment, this is the kind that explodes and sets fire to the curtains :D

Van Rijn
2010-Feb-15, 08:18 AM
http://www.bautforum.com/space-exploration/13210-could-shuttle-used-go-moon.html


See especially Jay's post in that thread on some of the practical difficulties:

http://www.bautforum.com/271818-post7.html

Occam
2010-Feb-15, 08:22 AM
This topic seems to come up a lot. Considering that there are only 3 shuttles left, which are going to be retired anyway because they're too old, it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. A better question might be, why not use a Saturn V?

Well, I do know that's not possible. The systems to produce that marvel just don't exist any more. We would have to start from scratch, so why not make something better with today's technology? I don't think Ares was the answer but it would have been nice to see people on the Moon again in my lifetime.

Van Rijn
2010-Feb-15, 08:42 AM
- How much fuel would you need for the delta-v to make the trans-lunar injection, and the two delta-v times to enter and exit lunar orbit.
- Can the shuttle tolerate hitting the Earth's atmosphere with an extra 8000 miles per hour initial velocity.
- Are there any places in the shuttle that are safe against a solar storm.


The paper linked above runs the numbers, though it makes clear there are a number of assumptions. It assumes that the shuttle would make a burn to shed some velocity before reentry, which is very costly for payload, and one of the reasons the shuttle is a poor choice for this.

It mentions additional mass for radiation protection as another issue that "would have to be addressed." (So, it wasn't part of this report.) Though, in this case, the shuttle would probably already stack up pretty well compared to Apollo.

astromark
2010-Feb-15, 08:52 AM
It matters little as to what vehicle is used to transport the hardware and crew to the moon. It comes back to COST. From the notes printed above you can see that the Shuttle fleet are not Lunar mission ready. The cost of altering them and the modifications needed rule them as to old and with to much unwanted mass. Why send wings and a tail and heavy retractable wheels to the moon and back ?... where do we store the fuel for slowing it all down...
So I will withdraw that, yes...,maybe its doable.
and add a NO... its not.
I mentioned cost and that is the final word. For no mater how we envisage doing a lunar mission its the COST that stops it. The money has become impossible.

Occam
2010-Feb-15, 08:56 AM
Thanks for the input, everyone. Now, is this the time to ask why it's now 2010 and I still don't have my personal jet pack and flying car?

Jens
2010-Feb-15, 09:14 AM
I don't think Ares was the answer but it would have been nice to see people on the Moon again in my lifetime.

I don't know how old you are, but unless you are fairly old, you still might. China may be planning a manned mission somewhere in 2025-2030, and Russia may also in the same time frame. And India is also looking into it.

astromark
2010-Feb-15, 09:31 AM
Thanks for the input, everyone. Now, is this the time to ask why it's now 2010 and I still don't have my personal jet pack and flying car?

Yes...'They' Lied to us. I was told that I would have all this leisure time and that robotics would take care of 'everything'... That we would be flying about and jet packs flying cars and all sorts of leisure craft would be common place. That there would by now be a permanent moon base just as we inhabit Antarctica... a orbiting space station and I'm sorry the ISS is not it. but... BUT... be encouraged. Given time and the justification. These things might happen yet. Just a little slower than we thought it might.

Can a shuttle be used for lunar missions... ? NO. Am I disappointed ? YES.:o

Will I be able to board a craft, be taken to the moon and stay for a few days in a Lunar Hotel ? Not unless I do it myself... for another hundred years... 2110... :)and it will not even slightly resemble a shuttle... will it ?

Otherworldly
2010-Feb-15, 03:52 PM
If a shuttle is sent to the Moon, it ends up coming back faster than it can safely re-enter the Earths atmosphere at.

They had an issue with that even from low earth orbit on one occasion . . .

DrRocket
2010-Feb-15, 04:27 PM
Hi folks,

Given that it looks like the Ares booster and the Orion programme is going to be canned, that effectively kills any return to the moon for quite some time.

I have a question for the engineering types here, about the space shuttle.

Now I know the shuttle is designed for low Earth orbit transfer only but (and here is my question) would it be at all feasible, to adapt it for lunar transit?

Not being an aeronautical engineer, the numbers sail right over my head but my thought was this: I believe the payload of the shuttle is about 50,000lbs or so. Would it be at all possible to convert that payload space to carry extra fuel and a lander, especially if the launch vehicle were adapted with, say, an additional solid rocket that could conserve some of the liquid fuel normally used to get into orbit?

I admit this is a somewhat idle question that occurred to me this morning, while I was stuck in a traffic jam but I'd love to know the answer. Is the shuttle completely incapable of leaving LEO under any circumstances, or would it be achievable with some adaptations? It seems to me that such a plan with existing technology and hardware would be a lot cheaper than 're-inventing the wheel'.

Regards - Occam

No, although your payload numbers are about right.

It is a stretch for the shuttle to get to the ISS, and in fact there were some modifications to allow it to do that. A lunar trajectory is way too demanding from a propulsion perspective.

Moreover, necessary tooling to keep the shuttle flying has been and is being excessed.

It would requre a complete redesign to add another solid rocket. What could be done would be to add a segment to each of the existing solids. That was included in the Ares 1 design and in fact a 5-segment booster was tested in October of 2003 (http://atk.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=118&item=569) as a potential upgrade for the STS program, long before there ever was an Ares program.

What is unfortunate is that the expertise necessary to keeping the shuttle flying, or modifying it for expanded missions, will be a casuality of the cancellation of the Ares program with no funded alternative in sight. You are witnessing not only the death of the shuttle program but of the U.S. manned spaceflight program.

thoth II
2010-Feb-15, 04:46 PM
This thread just underscores the frustration of me and some of my baby boomer generation over NASA policies since Apollo. I for one was tremendously disappointed when they stopped Apollo and voted for the shuttle (which to me compared to Apollo was a bore beyond belief) . Now that Obama has again gutted Bush's initiatives about moon and Mars programs, I feel that frustration all over again. The manned space program is a big bust in my opinion.

The good news is, the unmanned programs have been spectacular and have provided my students with many years of wonderful images and data.

History didn't have to be this way, so don't be so forgiving of those short sighted people who stopped Apollo.

DrRocket
2010-Feb-15, 05:03 PM
The good news is, the unmanned programs have been spectacular and have provided my students with many years of wonderful images and data.

History didn't have to be this way, so don't be so forgiving of those short sighted people who stopped Apollo.

The bad news is that the unmanned launch business is also in the toilet, and the expertise and infrastructure for it is also being decimated. The future does not look as rosy as the past, unless you are Chinese.

You are right, history didn't have to be this way and there were some short-sighted decisions. But you ain't seen nothin' yet. The aerospace crash of 'of the 70's looks pretty good when viewed from today's perspective. The expertise that is being lost will never be replaced. In some cases (e.g. solid rocket technology) it is rather specialized, is in the heads of older people, and there is nothing to attract young graduates (anybody dumb enough to go into that area given the obvious risks and the attraction of other opportunities is not smart enough to do the job).

The small commercial launch companies will not be the salvation. They have already demonstrated a lack of technical capability, with failures resulting from phenomena that should have been obvious concerns from the start. They rely heavily on outside expertise, and that expertise is dissipating rapidly.

formulaterp
2010-Feb-16, 04:01 PM
We're not talking about Greek Fire here. It's rocket science. We're not going to just forget how to build a rocket. The Chinese figured it out without our help, as did the Indians. The Iranians seem to be getting the hang of it as well. I'm pretty sure we can manage.

Jens
2010-Feb-17, 06:52 AM
We're not talking about Greek Fire here. It's rocket science. We're not going to just forget how to build a rocket. The Chinese figured it out without our help, as did the Indians.

Actually, though I could be wrong, I believe it is the Chinese who invented it long before we could have helped them.

Tuckerfan
2010-Feb-17, 07:07 AM
Well, I do know that's not possible. The systems to produce that marvel just don't exist any more. We would have to start from scratch, so why not make something better with today's technology? I don't think Ares was the answer but it would have been nice to see people on the Moon again in my lifetime.It would have been nice for me to be on the Moon, within my lifetime!


Thanks for the input, everyone. Now, is this the time to ask why it's now 2010 and I still don't have my personal jet pack and flying car?



This cartoon seems to be appropriate. (http://up-ship.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/2009-12-03-back-in-my-day.png) :D

DrRocket
2010-Feb-17, 07:19 AM
We're not talking about Greek Fire here. It's rocket science. We're not going to just forget how to build a rocket. The Chinese figured it out without our help, as did the Indians. The Iranians seem to be getting the hang of it as well. I'm pretty sure we can manage.

I don't have any idea as to how many rocket designs you have been involved with, but I have been involved with quite a few, and I can assure you that the expertise required for their design is evaporating as we speak and it will be accelerated with the cancellation of the Ares 1.

Yep, the lessons learned can be learned again. And just as painfully. However, our tolerance for failures is not what it used to be either.

Once upon a time when we decided to design a new rocket we did it. The last several NASA starts have all been cancelled. The military is not developing anything new of note. Our record is pretty poor. There has not been a significant new rocket design carried through to flight since the Delta series, unless you want to count the amateurish work of Space X.

Occam
2010-Feb-17, 08:34 AM
It would have been nice for me to be on the Moon, within my lifetime!

This cartoon seems to be appropriate. (http://up-ship.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/2009-12-03-back-in-my-day.png) :D
I have to concur - and that cartoon is a keeper! :lol:

marsbug
2010-Feb-17, 04:33 PM
The only currently flying manned vehicle that could reach the moon is the soyuz space capsule.

It could be done with fairly minimal modifications (compared to a shuttle anyway!), however it involves a lot of fiddly in space docking: 2 launches and 1 docking for a flyby mission, and 7 launches and 7 dockings for a landing. Plus someone would have to supply the lander, and probably a hab section with improved life support and waste disposal.

DrRocket, why are unmanned launches in the toilet?

I can't speak as to te quality of spacex's work, but they have and are developing and launching rockets. That inclines me to like them, and hope they will learn their lessons fast enough to catch up.

thoth II
2010-Feb-17, 04:52 PM
Once upon a time when we decided to design a new rocket we did it. The last several NASA starts have all been cancelled. The military is not developing anything new of note. Our record is pretty poor. There has not been a significant new rocket design carried through to flight since the Delta series, unless you want to count the amateurish work of Space X.


Dr. R. man you sure are painting a dismal picture, which I happen to agree with. I remember a brief moment of optimism in 1990 when I attended a lecture by NASA official at Univ. of Central Fla. when he said money was being put into some type of rocket that would double as an airplane, but I never heard any more.

formulaterp
2010-Feb-18, 07:50 AM
Once upon a time when we decided to design a new rocket we did it.

Why did we design these new rockets? Because we NEEDED to, not because we thought it would be fun.



The military is not developing anything new of note. Our record is pretty poor. There has not been a significant new rocket design carried through to flight since the Delta series, unless you want to count the amateurish work of Space X.

The military subsidized the development of 2 new rockets because they NEEDED to replace their old, expensive and unreliable one. Now that they have 2 perfectly adequate launch vehicles, why would they develop a new one?

SpaceX chose to develop an entire line of rockets because they saw a NEED for a low cost commercial launcher. I hope they succeed. I hope there's a market or them. If not, they will go the way of Ares.

If NASA chooses to replicate their moon missions from 40 years ago, they may develop Ares, some derivative of it, or something entirely different. But if we're not going to the moon then we don't NEED any new rockets.

Tuckerfan
2010-Feb-18, 06:23 PM
But if we're not going to the moon then we don't NEED any new rockets.

As it stands now, we're not even going to be able to go to LEO after the end of this year.

astromark
2010-Feb-18, 07:10 PM
As Dr Rocket put this so well... If you read between the lines the whole NASA program and all of its knowledge base, and staff are looking over their shoulders nervously...
I have said this repeatedly; The cost... and costs have ruled maned space travel is both no longer required and too expensive. Like the smoking ruins, the economy is in a mess.
I would also place a note of negativity on 'We needed to' we never did need to.
So the COSTS now out strip the want...; Which is a pity, cos its been fun.

DrRocket
2010-Feb-18, 09:50 PM
Dr. R. man you sure are painting a dismal picture, which I happen to agree with. I remember a brief moment of optimism in 1990 when I attended a lecture by NASA official at Univ. of Central Fla. when he said money was being put into some type of rocket that would double as an airplane, but I never heard any more.

There have been a couple of initiatives for a single-stage-to-orbit since 1990. All came to nothing.

There are a couple of reasons for this. First, it is extremely difficult. There is a reason for multi-stage rockets. It is the one known way to overcome the limitations of inert weight and the specific impulse that is acheiveable with proven motor designs. Second, the technologies that were pursued in the programs reflected anything but the real technical challenges. Far too little emphasis was placed on inproving specific impulse (another 40 seconds or so is probably needed) and in some cases too little emphasis was placed on sensible use of graphite composite material technology to reduce inert weight. Composites were either misapplied, development mismanaged, or their use was neglected (depending on which defunct program one is interested in). It probably did not matter, as even with proper use of composites current engine technologies will not support the ability to put a significant payload in low earth orbit with only a single stage.

Yep, the current picture is pretty dismal. But that is unfortunately the way it is. I anticipate massive layoffs in the rocket business in a couple of months and again later in the year. The expertise lost will not ever be replaced, and it was getting pretty thin anyway.

If you really want to save space exploration programs, what you need is a commercially viable reason for going to space, other than communication and surveillance satellites. The biggest problem that the launch industry has is lack of demand. That is a direct result of lack of a commercial market. Communication and surveillance satellites are good, but they are now pretty reliable and long-lived. There is not enough demand for launch services to support the rocket manufacturing and launch businesses.

NASA has becomd a victim of the politicians. Rather than a space agency with a mission, it is primarily a vehicle for the distribution of pork. Sometimes the pork takes the form of useful programs, and sometimes not. But long-term consistent funding necessary for a sound space program is incompatible with the whipsawing of the budet and mandated programs that come with a political focus on pork.

Tuckerfan
2010-Feb-19, 06:15 AM
I would also place a note of negativity on 'We needed to' we never did need to.Not true. Not only did we need to, we still need to. "The nation that turns inward is doomed to decline." Right now, highly educated folks are leaving the US and going to India and China because they see greater opportunity there than they do in the US (for one thing, they can live like a king on much less money).

While this is good for India and China, its bad for the US, because roughly 50% of all Silicon Valley start ups are started by immigrants according to some estimates, and there's at least one survey which says that less than 20% of all people who come to the US to further their education would consider staying in the US a short period of time after graduating to start up/work for a US company.

If our economy in the US is going to keep on growing, then we need to not only keep highly intelligent people in the US for at least long enough for them to make a significant contribution to our country, but we also need to have some reason why other nations (like China) will want to buy our debt until we're able to get government spending under control. Otherwise, we'll end up like Greece is at the moment.

There are other issues, but I don't know if they'd be crossing the "no politics" line or not. I will say that its better for everybody if the US remains a world leader in terms of technology, if not the largest economy on the planet.

NorthernBoy
2010-Feb-19, 07:50 AM
Yes...'They' Lied to us. I was told that I would have all this leisure time and that robotics would take care of 'everything'...

The leisure time bit is here. If you so desire you can now have a career that means that you only need ten years to get your retirement pretty well funded, but having taken a year out for some fun, I find that in 2009 this still means flying in planes that would not have been too out of place in the 60s, using a conventional motorbike, and even travelling between continents in a big boat.

I think that the disconnect between where we thought we'd be and where we are is caused by people seeing technological innovation in some reasonably narrowly defined areas (computing, telecommunications), and thinking that this pace ought to be repeated across all areas.

The thing is, we are only just dipping our toes into the ocean of possibility in technology, but were already banging our heads against the thermodynamic ceiling in energy transfer a hundred years ago, so were reduced to much smaller advances there. As for the robotics, the error there was probably underestimating the complexity of the brain, but also overestimating the expected cost of having people doing things for us.

Otherworldly
2010-Feb-19, 03:14 PM
Right now, highly educated folks are leaving the US and going to India and China because they see greater opportunity there than they do in the US (for one thing, they can live like a king on much less money).

While this is good for India and China,

OK, so highly educated folks leaving the US for India and China is good for those countries.


its bad for the US, because roughly 50% of all Silicon Valley start ups are started by immigrants according to some estimates,

That sounds like a case of highly educated people coming to the US to pursue economic opportunity.


There are other issues, but I don't know if they'd be crossing the "no politics" line or not. I will say that its better for everybody if the US remains a world leader in terms of technology, if not the largest economy on the planet.

I think probably most people in India and China, each with several times the population of the US, would disagree that it is better for them if they continue to have living standards much lower than the US, so that the US continues to have a larger economy than their countries.

Tuckerfan
2010-Feb-19, 04:42 PM
OK, so highly educated folks leaving the US for India and China is good for those countries.And potentially bad for the US.


That sounds like a case of highly educated people coming to the US to pursue economic opportunity.It can be more than that, however. In the 1960s, if you wanted to work on really high tech stuff, you came to the US because we were the only ones building Moon rockets.


I think probably most people in India and China, each with several times the population of the US, would disagree that it is better for them if they continue to have living standards much lower than the US, so that the US continues to have a larger economy than their countries.So who said anything about either of those places having a lower standard of living? If the US is number 1 in terms of technological innovation and R&D, but second or third in the size of its economy, while China and India are larger, the US remains an effective counterbalance to many of China's amoral international arrangements. If the US does not maintain the lead in technological innovation, and the economy slips to a lower position (which will happen no matter what, simply because of the disparities in population sizes between the US and India/China), then the US will quickly join a number of nations in the dustbin of history. You can bet that as the Chinese economy expands to one that is larger than that of the US, they will talking about how their political system is far superior to that of democratic nations.

Otherworldly
2010-Feb-20, 03:46 AM
And potentially bad for the US.

It can be more than that, however. In the 1960s, if you wanted to work on really high tech stuff, you came to the US because we were the only ones building Moon rockets.

So do I understand you correctly on this point then? You are asserting that immigration of highly educated people into China and India is good for those countries, but immigration of highly educated people into the US is bad for the US?


So who said anything about either of those places having a lower standard of living?

I thought you were expressing a hope for the US economy to remain the largest in the world. Did I misunderstand? If that is what you want, you need either per-capita income to be higher in the US than in India or China (the way I characterized your position), or you need the population of the US to be larger than the population of India or China.


If the US is number 1 in terms of technological innovation and R&D, but second or third in the size of its economy, while China and India are larger, the US remains an effective counterbalance to many of China's amoral international arrangements. If the US does not maintain the lead in technological innovation, and the economy slips to a lower position

We could talk about the relation to between technological innovation and economic growth, but let's leave that to the side for now.


(which will happen no matter what, simply because of the disparities in population sizes between the US and India/China),

Rather my point. Barring a drastic change in the relative populations, which you appear not to anticipate, the only way the US can have the largest economy is if living standards in the US are much higher than in China and India. And I thought you were expressing a desire for the US to have the largest economy in the world - were you not?


then the US will quickly join a number of nations in the dustbin of history.

I can't agree with that. If the US currently has the lead in technological innovation, then every other country in the world doesn't. Have those countries all slid quickly into the dustbin of history?


You can bet that as the Chinese economy expands to one that is larger than that of the US, they will talking about how their political system is far superior to that of democratic nations.

I don't know why you say that, they talk about it now.

Hey, if that's how you feel, then that's how you feel, but I don't think you'll find many Chinese or Indians who agree that it's good for them if their countries lag behind the US so the morally superior US can dominate the world. Probably you can find a few who think that, but not a lot.

Tuckerfan
2010-Feb-20, 05:01 AM
So do I understand you correctly on this point then? You are asserting that immigration of highly educated people into China and India is good for those countries, but immigration of highly educated people into the US is bad for the US?
That is so far off the mark of what I posted, that your misinterpretation can only be deliberate. No where have I objected to people immigrating to the US. No where. Instead, I have stated that it is bad for the US if highly educated immigrants do not continue to come to the US.



I thought you were expressing a hope for the US economy to remain the largest in the world. Did I misunderstand?"Misunderstand" is putting it mildly.

If that is what you want, you need either per-capita income to be higher in the US than in India or China (the way I characterized your position), or you need the population of the US to be larger than the population of India or China.
If you bothered to read what I wrote, you'll notice that I stated quite clearly that it was only a matter of time before China or India had a larger economy than the US.



We could talk about the relation to between technological innovation and economic growth, but let's leave that to the side for now.No, lets not. That has been my point all along. If the US wants continued economic growth, it must have continual technological innovation. Spending on the space program is one of the surest ways for the US to continue to have the technological edge. Alternatively, the US could spend money to develop all kinds of new military weapons, this would not be a good thing, IMHO, as people tend to get a bit "twitchy" about such things.




Rather my point. Barring a drastic change in the relative populations, which you appear not to anticipate, the only way the US can have the largest economy is if living standards in the US are much higher than in China and India. And I thought you were expressing a desire for the US to have the largest economy in the world - were you not?No, I was not.




I can't agree with that. If the US currently has the lead in technological innovation, then every other country in the world doesn't. Have those countries all slid quickly into the dustbin of history?Look at the states of the former Soviet Union. Few of them are doing all that well, and while people like to claim that Russia has a booming economy, the reality is that the driving force behind the Russian economy is limited to the energy production sector, namely fossil fuels. Fossil fuels, of course, are not exactly the "in" thing at the moment, so Russia's boom is not likely to last long enough to pull the rest of the country's economy out of the rough shape its in, and the government controlled energy company in Russia has been so mishandled by Moscow that they're going to have difficulty keeping their existing operations going, and expanding their operations is going to be difficult for the same reason.

The US, of course, has a high debt load, and there's starting to be concern that we will not be able to repay it. Do you really want the US to slide to the point where a majority of high school girls think that prostitution for foreign currency is a viable way to make a living as happened in Russia just a few years after the Soviet Union collapsed.




I don't know why you say that, they talk about it now.Maybe because I find the idea of oppressive governments being seen as the ideal to strive for as not a good thing at all.


Hey, if that's how you feel, then that's how you feel, but I don't think you'll find many Chinese or Indians who agree that it's good for them if their countries lag behind the US so the morally superior US can dominate the world. Probably you can find a few who think that, but not a lot.There you go again distorting what I said. I never stated that the US was "morally superior" to India, nor did I state that they should be forced to "lag behind the US," I stated that the US should work to maintain its technological edge. There's a big difference.

astromark
2010-Feb-20, 05:50 AM
Politics...politics...and I must admit to my part in this... posts 29 and 30. Yes I am being negative. Dr Rocket is correct. Unless justifarcation for massive expenditure can be found, its OVER.

Can we use existing space craft to get us back into a Lunar program.... NO.

The shuttles are to heavy and old and nobody can justify the expense of building the new hardware we would need. And I stand by my flippant remark. We never needed to go to the Moon. It was a political race of power and technical one up man ship...USA 12 Russia 0.

The point being made is that; We need a reason to go into space. Wanting to does not qualify.

This 'other' discussion re; India and China is pointless. I hope it happens. A maned space program by whoever is good...:)

Might I suggest you start a off topic babbling thread....

Tuckerfan
2010-Feb-20, 05:54 AM
It was a political race of power and technical one up man ship...USA 12 Russia 0.Which beats a military action by a long shot. The Moon race gave the US and the USSR a way to one up each other without adding to the risk of nuclear war, like putting more missiles or more weapons in this or that part of the world would.

Otherworldly
2010-Feb-20, 06:35 AM
That is so far off the mark of what I posted, that your misinterpretation can only be deliberate.

Personally, I find it astounding that you fail to understand the point I am making (third time now), but I will leave accusations of deliberate misstatement to you.


No where have I objected to people immigrating to the US. No where. Instead, I have stated that it is bad for the US if highly educated immigrants do not continue to come to the US.

Let's have a look at what you said. Third time now.


While this is good for India and China,

This refers to emigration of educated people from the US to India and China.


its bad for the US,

Presumably, "it" refers to the same emigration.


because roughly 50% of all Silicon Valley start ups are started by immigrants according to some estimates,

Continuing hard upon a statement about what is bad for the US, we have an example, not of educated people leaving the US for China and India, but of educated people entering the US from some unspecified other locations.


and there's at least one survey which says that less than 20% of all people who come to the US to further their education would consider staying in the US a short period of time after graduating to start up/work for a US company.

Now here is an example that suggests educated people want to leave the US.

Previously, we were told emigration of skilled workers from the US to China and India is good for China and India. Then we are told "it" (presumably the same emigration) is bad for the US, and then given two examples, the second one of the same phenomenon (emigration of educated people from the US), and the first one of the exact opposite phenomenon (immigration of educated people into the US). You cite two exact opposite phenomena as evidence of something that is bad for the US.

The point of my questioning (twice before, a third time now) is to get you to explain how your first example (the 50% start-up rate by immigrants of Silicon) is supposed to be bad for the US. You cite it immediately after, and with a "because", a statement about how emigration in the opposite direction.

I asked for this clarification in the form of a question, and specifically asked whether I had understood correctly, because I didn't want to attribute to you positions that might be a result of my misunderstanding. Your response openly accuses me of dishonesty. I'm starting to wonder why I took the level of care I did.

First point over, entirely separate point to follow.


If you bothered to read what I wrote,

I did read what you wrote, and I asked for clarification on it.


you'll notice that I stated quite clearly that it was only a matter of time before China or India had a larger economy than the US.

I did notice that you said this:


If the US does not maintain the lead in technological innovation, and the economy slips to a lower position (which will happen no matter what, simply because of the disparities in population sizes between the US and India/China), then the US will quickly join a number of nations in the dustbin of history.

So we have an unconditional statement inside the "If" part of a condition statement.

However, as I also bothered to read what you wrote here:


I will say that its better for everybody if the US remains a world leader in terms of technology, if not the largest economy on the planet.

I have asking whether this means that you consider the US having the largest economy in the world to be a desirable state of affairs. But you seem to get quite angry when I ask for explanation or confirmation of my understanding of your statements.


No, lets not. That has been my point all along. If the US wants continued economic growth, it must have continual technological innovation. Spending on the space program is one of the surest ways for the US to continue to have the technological edge.

That last sentence is very intriguing! Can you show the analysis behind it, please?


Alternatively, the US could spend money to develop all kinds of new military weapons, this would not be a good thing, IMHO, as people tend to get a bit "twitchy" about such things.

That is one of many alternatives.


No, I was not.

See, what's so hard about that? I asked if that's what you meant by "I will say that its better for everybody if the US remains a world leader in terms of technology, if not the largest economy on the planet," and now you have answered. You could have just skipped all the angry part.


Look at the states of the former Soviet Union. Few of them are doing all that well, and while people like to claim that Russia has a booming economy, the reality is that the driving force behind the Russian economy is limited to the energy production sector, namely fossil fuels. Fossil fuels, of course, are not exactly the "in" thing at the moment, so Russia's boom is not likely to last long enough to pull the rest of the country's economy out of the rough shape its in, and the government controlled energy company in Russia has been so mishandled by Moscow that they're going to have difficulty keeping their existing operations going, and expanding their operations is going to be difficult for the same reason.

I agree with much of the above, but am unsure of its relation to the veracity of the statement "If the US does not maintain the lead in technological innovation, and the economy slips to a lower position . . . then the US will quickly join a number of nations in the dustbin of history."


Do you really want the US to slide to the point where a majority of high school girls think that prostitution for foreign currency is a viable way to make a living as happened in Russia just a few years after the Soviet Union collapsed.

Since you asked, no, I do not really want to the US to slide to this point. What is the relevance of my desires on this point?

Once more, here's what you said:


If the US does not maintain the lead in technological innovation, and the economy slips to a lower position . . . then the US will quickly join a number of nations in the dustbin of history.

I expressed my disagreement with this. What I want to happen to the US is a question of my opinion. What will happen to the US if it does nto maintain a lead in technological innovation (if it even has such a lead today) is a question of fact. Would you like to support this claim with evidence and analysis? I'd be most interested in seeing it.


Maybe because I find the idea of oppressive governments being seen as the ideal to strive for as not a good thing at all.

The part I asked about was the conditional part. As I said, many Chinese say it now.


There you go again distorting what I said.

My oh my. When I express my disagreement with "If the US does not maintain the lead in technological innovation, and the economy slips to a lower position . . . then the US will quickly join a number of nations in the dustbin of history", I get "Do you really want the US to slide to the point where a majority of high school girls think that prostitution for foreign currency is a viable way to make a living as happened in Russia just a few years after the Soviet Union collapsed.", and I am distorting what you said. If you like.


I never stated that the US was "morally superior" to India

No, you didn't. (Although come to think of it, I didn't say you did say it, either. Is that your distortion?)


nor did I state that they should be forced to "lag behind the US,"

No, I don't remember you saying those words. Funny thing is, I also don't remember saying you said them.


I stated that the US should work to maintain its technological edge. There's a big difference.

What I do remember you saying is:


I will say that its better for everybody if the US remains a world leader in terms of technology, if not the largest economy on the planet,

As I recall, I said that's fine if it's your opinion, and stated that a lot of people will have a rather different opinion. My statement did have the word "lag" in it, and yours has the words "the US remains a world leader in terms of technology". If there is a way for the US to be a leader without other countries lagging behind (you objected to this phrase), can you explain it please? I want to understand how there can be leaders without laggers.

I suggest you lose the politics, and drop accusations of dishonesty. If you can respond calmly, pointing out any areas where I might have misunderstood what you said, I'd be interested in having those misunderstandings corrected.

Tuckerfan
2010-Feb-20, 08:30 AM
I've had to split my response to you into two posts due to board limitations. This is part one.


Personally, I find it astounding that you fail to understand the point I am making (third time now), but I will leave accusations of deliberate misstatement to you.That's so generous of you.

Let's have a look at what you said. Third time now.For whom? Certainly not for you.



Originally Posted by Tuckerfan
While this is good for India and China,

This refers to emigration of educated people from the US to India and China.Good so far.



Originally Posted by Tuckerfan
its bad for the US,Presumably, "it" refers to the same emigration.As in educated people leaving the US is bad for America.




Originally Posted by Tuckerfan
because roughly 50% of all Silicon Valley start ups are started by immigrants according to some estimates,
Continuing hard upon a statement about what is bad for the US, we have an example, not of educated people leaving the US for China and India, but of educated people entering the US from some unspecified other locations.Now, stop right there. One would think that this clearly indicates I'm an advocate for people coming to the US, you, however, distort it into my saying something entirely different.

Originally Posted by Otherworldly
So do I understand you correctly on this point then? You are asserting that immigration of highly educated people into China and India is good for those countries, but immigration of highly educated people into the US is bad for the US?Mind you, I feel I should point out that you are selectively cutting and pasting comments I've made in different posts without referencing that fact. One wonders why you're doing this. It certainly cannot be because you're wanting to make things clear.




Originally Posted by Tuckerfan
and there's at least one survey which says that less than 20% of all people who come to the US to further their education would consider staying in the US a short period of time after graduating to start up/work for a US company.
Now here is an example that suggests educated people want to leave the US.Which I happen to think is bad. I want people to come to the US.


Previously, we were told emigration of skilled workers from the US to China and India is good for China and India. Then we are told "it" (presumably the same emigration) is bad for the US, and then given two examples, the second one of the same phenomenon (emigration of educated people from the US), and the first one of the exact opposite phenomenon (immigration of educated people into the US). You cite two exact opposite phenomena as evidence of something that is bad for the US.How do I make it any clearer? I've stated repeatedly that I'm in favor of highly educated people coming to the US, and provided examples of why its a benefit to this country, yet you somehow persist in claiming that I have said the opposite.


The point of my questioning (twice before, a third time now) is to get you to explain how your first example (the 50% start-up rate by immigrants of Silicon) is supposed to be bad for the US.I never said it was bad for the US.
You cite it immediately after, and with a "because", a statement about how emigration in the opposite direction.Yes, I was stating that it is bad for highly educated people to leave the US, since so many important businesses in the US were started by people who came to the US.


I asked for this clarification in the form of a question, and specifically asked whether I had understood correctly, because I didn't want to attribute to you positions that might be a result of my misunderstanding. Your response openly accuses me of dishonesty. I'm starting to wonder why I took the level of care I did.Oh, well, then, why don't simply save us all a lot of trouble then and come out and say directly what you mean, rather than beating around the bush?


First point over, entirely separate point to follow.Okay.




I did read what you wrote, and I asked for clarification on it.While at the same time, blatantly trying to claim something vastly different than what I said.




I did notice that you said this:

If the US does not maintain the lead in technological innovation, and the economy slips to a lower position (which will happen no matter what, simply because of the disparities in population sizes between the US and India/China), then the US will quickly join a number of nations in the dustbin of history.Yes, I did say that. I did, quite clearly state that because of population disparities the US cannot expect to continue to have the largest economy in the world.

So we have an unconditional statement inside the "If" part of a condition statement.The key part being the US maintain its lead in technological innovation, and not the size of the economy.



However, as I also bothered to read what you wrote here:
I will say that its better for everybody if the US remains a world leader in terms of technology, if not the largest economy on the planet.


I have asking whether this means that you consider the US having the largest economy in the world to be a desirable state of affairs. But you seem to get quite angry when I ask for explanation or confirmation of my understanding of your statements.Its not the size of the US economy in comparison to nations like China or India which matters to me, its the level of technological innovation that the US has that I care about. I don't mind if the US takes second place in the technological innovation part to India, but I'd much rather that so long as the Chinese government is communist/authoritarian that the US stay ahead of them when it comes to technology.





No, lets not. That has been my point all along. If the US wants continued economic growth, it must have continual technological innovation. Spending on the space program is one of the surest ways for the US to continue to have the technological edge.That last sentence is very intriguing! Can you show the analysis behind it, please?NASA's got a whole bunch of information related to that. (http://www.sti.nasa.gov/tto/) Feel free to take as much time as you like digging through their site.




Alternatively, the US could spend money to develop all kinds of new military weapons, this would not be a good thing, IMHO, as people tend to get a bit "twitchy" about such things.
That is one of many alternatives.What "is one of many alternatives"? That people get "twitchy" if the US spends lots of money on new military weapons? Or that the US could spend its money elsewhere? Because if you think anything other than those two things happening is highly likely to happen, I'm going to have to ask for proof.



No, I was not.
See, what's so hard about that? I asked if that's what you meant by "I will say that its better for everybody if the US remains a world leader in terms of technology, if not the largest economy on the planet," and now you have answered. You could have just skipped all the angry part.Did it ever occur to you that I felt that I had explained myself in such simple, basic language that no one could possibly get wrong what I said, and then you ask not merely for clarification, but somehow manage to pound what I said into something so diametrically opposed to what I had written that the most logical conclusion one in my position could draw was that you were attempting to bait me into something? Suppose I were to take what you had written and then claim that you were advocating genocide against either China, India, or the US? Would you be at all thrilled about that?




Originally Posted by Tuckerfan
Look at the states of the former Soviet Union. Few of them are doing all that well, and while people like to claim that Russia has a booming economy, the reality is that the driving force behind the Russian economy is limited to the energy production sector, namely fossil fuels. Fossil fuels, of course, are not exactly the "in" thing at the moment, so Russia's boom is not likely to last long enough to pull the rest of the country's economy out of the rough shape its in, and the government controlled energy company in Russia has been so mishandled by Moscow that they're going to have difficulty keeping their existing operations going, and expanding their operations is going to be difficult for the same reason.
I agree with much of the above, but am unsure of its relation to the veracity of the statement "If the US does not maintain the lead in technological innovation, and the economy slips to a lower position . . . then the US will quickly join a number of nations in the dustbin of history."Because that is the point towards which we are rapidly heading. To get specific would probably violate board rules, however, I will say that in the past year or so, there was a rather controversial action by the British government involving another nation and the establishment of relations with said nation. Lost in all the shouting was the reason why the British had agreed to the deal to begin with. That nation has some untapped resources that the Chinese were interested in, and the British knew that if the Chinese were to get those resources, they would utterly ignore human rights issues within that particular nation (as they have done in many others). Rightly or wrongly, the British government felt that it would be in everyone's best interest if they beat the Chinese, since they would be willing to apply at least a token amount of pressure on the issue of human rights. What does this have to do with the US, you ask? For over a decade, most of the world had adopted the same position towards that nation as the US did. That position was undercut because the Chinese were interested in doing a deal.

Some would argue that perhaps the US (and most of the world) had the wrong idea about trying isolate that nation, that's neither here nor there at the moment. The issue is what happens after the deal is struck. At least one nation is presently tearing itself to pieces, with the strong possibility of the conflict spilling over into other parts of that region, because the Chinese felt that exploiting that nation's resources was more important than anything else. Couple that with centuries long instability in that particular region (which goes back to European colonialism) and you have a really ugly situation forming. Not that the US can say that it has never engaged in similar behavior, but I think that in more recent years the US has demonstrated it makes an effort to help people in hostile areas. We did, after all, drop food to the Afghan people when we went to war with the Taliban, which is more than the US did in Vietnam or the first Gulf War. Were the Chinese to mount a military operation to secure critical resources, I doubt if they'd be dropping food for civilians of the country they were bombing.

Tuckerfan
2010-Feb-20, 08:33 AM
Here is Part Two.



Originally Posted by Tuckerfan
Do you really want the US to slide to the point where a majority of high school girls think that prostitution for foreign currency is a viable way to make a living as happened in Russia just a few years after the Soviet Union collapsed.
Since you asked, no, I do not really want to the US to slide to this point. What is the relevance of my desires on this point?By that logic, what's the relevance of any of our opinions on the matter, then?


Once more, here's what you said:
If the US does not maintain the lead in technological innovation, and the economy slips to a lower position . . . then the US will quickly join a number of nations in the dustbin of history.



I expressed my disagreement with this. What I want to happen to the US is a question of my opinion. What will happen to the US if it does nto maintain a lead in technological innovation (if it even has such a lead today) is a question of fact. Would you like to support this claim with evidence and analysis? I'd be most interested in seeing it.Are you going to demand footnoted citations of every word, paragraph and sentence I post of it? Because I honestly do not have the time to dig through the tens of thousands of things I've read over the years which allow me to reach that conclusion and cite every aspect of it to the nth degree. I am not basing this on any crackpot conspiracy theories or beliefs that this will result from some kind of moral failing on the part of the American people.

The simplest and most direct example would be to look at what happened to the Soviet Union once communism collapsed. Certainly the world stepped in to help, but they did not provide nearly enough aid for Russia's economy to reach the point where the average Russian was enjoying the same standard of living as an American. Granted, the meddling of certain Russian officials hasn't helped things, but we can be certain that if the US economy goes completely in the gutter, that at least one or two US government officials will manage to foul things up for us. It is, after all, one of the things humans are good at: Fouling things up.





Maybe because I find the idea of oppressive governments being seen as the ideal to strive for as not a good thing at all.The part I asked about was the conditional part. As I said, many Chinese say it now.Yes, but it doesn't carry nearly as much weight now as it will if the US stops being the technological leader.




There you go again distorting what I said.
My oh my. When I express my disagreement with "If the US does not maintain the lead in technological innovation, and the economy slips to a lower position . . . then the US will quickly join a number of nations in the dustbin of history", I get "Do you really want the US to slide to the point where a majority of high school girls think that prostitution for foreign currency is a viable way to make a living as happened in Russia just a few years after the Soviet Union collapsed.", and I am distorting what you said. If you like.Except that's not what I was talking about at all. I stated that educated people leaving the US was a bad thing, and you claimed that I said the reverse.




I never stated that the US was "morally superior" to India
No, you didn't. (Although come to think of it, I didn't say you did say it, either. Is that your distortion?)Oh, not directly, of course. However, you did give the impression that you were rephrasing my comments. Lets take a look at what you said.

Hey, if that's how you feel, then that's how you feel, but I don't think you'll find many Chinese or Indians who agree that it's good for them if their countries lag behind the US so the morally superior US can dominate the world. So who and what are we supposed to think that the Chinese are agreeing with? I suppose we could draw the conclusion from your comments that you think it'd be a justifiable action on the part of the Chinese or the Indians if they summarily executed every American, but we're not talking about what you said, are we?




nor did I state that they should be forced to "lag behind the US,"
No, I don't remember you saying those words. Funny thing is, I also don't remember saying you said them.Perhaps I wanted to make it explicitly clear what my point was.




What I do remember you saying is:
I will say that its better for everybody if the US remains a world leader in terms of technology, if not the largest economy on the planet,
As I recall, I said that's fine if it's your opinion, and stated that a lot of people will have a rather different opinion. My statement did have the word "lag" in it, and yours has the words "the US remains a world leader in terms of technology". If there is a way for the US to be a leader without other countries lagging behind (you objected to this phrase), can you explain it please? I want to understand how there can be leaders without laggers.First of all, lets lose the loaded term of "lagger." Most electronics technology was developed in the US, but it did not see commercial success until Japanese corporations repackaged it and made it consumer friendly. Had you tried to claim that the Japanese were "lagging" behind the US in terms of technology starting in the Eighties, you would have been soundly laughed at in most circles, even though Japan was not the one developing the newest technology that the average American saw, "just" refining it.


I suggest you lose the politics,Believe me, I have no desire to run afoul of the board rules against bringing up politics, and will refrain from them. However, since we are discussing an area which will invariably bump into politics in one form or another, I certainly cannot claim I will be able to satisfy your desire for information.
and drop accusations of dishonesty.I will drop them you stop trying to rephrase my comments in such a way as to imply something other than a reasonable person could interpret them to mean.
If you can respond calmly,Where have I not been calm? I certainly can't hurl insults at you (or any other poster) without getting smacked down by a mod.
pointing out any areas where I might have misunderstood what you said, I'd be interested in having those misunderstandings corrected.
We shall see.

tusenfem
2010-Feb-20, 09:50 AM
Otherwordly and Tuckerfan, this discussion ends here. It has NOTHING to do with the OP how you two view the future of the US, China or whatever country. This is starting to become a political discussion. If you want to discuss something then stick to the OP topic Could we return to the moon with existing systems? Otherwise, some infractions will find their way to you.