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Thread: Trump to start process of sending Americans back to moon - White House

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    tWebber TheLurch's Avatar
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    Somewhat on topic, the next Mars rover will carry an experiment designed to test obtaining oxygen from the planet's CO2-rich atmosphere (byproduct will be carbon monoxide). The idea is to validate the production of 1/2 of what we'd need to power a rocket engine for a return to earth.

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    I believe the current technology of robotics exceeds that which is needed for space missions.

    Source: https://www.space.com/18322-mars-sample-return-humans-robots.html





    For decades scientists have backed the idea of sending robots to collect Martian rocks and return them to Earth, a project that should be possible well before humans crunch their boots into the distant dunes of the Red Planet.

    The idea of landing, scooping up, and hauling back to our world specimens from that intriguing globe has long been endorsed as the Holy Grail of precursor missions by Mars exploration planners.

    This view was echoed in late September by a summary report from NASA's Mars Program Planning Group (MPPG). Former NASA program manager Orlando Figueroa chaired the blue-ribbon team of MPPG members that were tasked to reformulate the agency's Mars Exploration Program.


    Yet other experts question whether robots should do a job that might be better suited for human astronauts. [The Boldest Mars Missions in History]

    Report findings

    An MPPG objective was to explore options and alternatives for creating a meaningful collaboration between science and the human exploration of Mars. More to the point, recent deep cuts in the budget for Mars exploration at NASA necessitated a reconsideration of the Mars robotic exploration program.

    Among the summary report observations, the MPPG found that Mars sample return architectures offer a "promising intersection" of objectives between the human spaceflight, space technology, and robotic exploration camps.

    In a press briefing showcasing the summary report, NASA's John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, said that sample return represents the best opportunity to find technological synergies between the programs.

    "Sending a mission to go to Mars and return a sample looks a lot like sending a crew to Mars and returning them safely. There's a parallelism of ideas there," he said.

    Better and cheaper

    But is a robotic dig-and-dash Mars initiative a clear, hands-down, need-to-do effort that precedes human explorers strutting across the Martian landscape? And to what degree can rocketing back grab-bag samples help decipher a long-standing, key question: Is there life on Mars?

    Another option is to bypass robot surrogates and let astronauts bring back the "Mars goods" themselves. Furthermore, who says the samples must be returned to Earth at all?

    © Copyright Original Source

    They can barely build and send a robot that collects rocks. Designing and building and controlling robots that can build shelters and such for humans is a bit off in the future and might be useful for a permanent base. It is cheaper and simpler just to send people there for the foreseeable future of exploration. We have aleady done what we can with the rock collectors. We need boots on the ground.

  3. #53
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    They can barely build and send a robot that collects rocks. Designing and building and controlling robots that can build shelters and such for humans is a bit off in the future and might be useful for a permanent base. It is cheaper and simpler just to send people there for the foreseeable future of exploration. We have aleady done what we can with the rock collectors. We need boots on the ground.
    Robots do great at repetitive tasks. That's why I'm wondering about a robot (it would have to rely on some pretty sophisticated AI) that can actually do "first time" tasks, adapting to the environment, terrain, unexpected complications, etc.

    I'd love to see it.

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    That article seems to do more to argue in favor of manned missions than robotic ones.

    It doesn't really seem to support your notion - with which I agree - that a huge part of the expense and engineering for a manned mission has to do with the size and weight of the humans, along with all the considerations necessary to keep them alive.
    Any kind of unmanned mission would require a lot of weight too, not to mention infrastructure. If you want to use robots to build shelters you first have to have the robots unload themselves and build some sort of power station for themselves. I don't think solar power would cut it for the amount of power needed to run robots to build a base. seems to me the easiest and cheapest solution is to send men to mars, set up a temporary base camp or stay in the lander, do some experiments, take some video and scoot back to Earth and declare victory.

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Any kind of unmanned mission would require a lot of weight too, not to mention infrastructure. If you want to use robots to build shelters you first have to have the robots unload themselves and build some sort of power station for themselves. I don't think solar power would cut it for the amount of power needed to run robots to build a base. seems to me the easiest and cheapest solution is to send men to mars, set up a temporary base camp or stay in the lander, do some experiments, take some video and scoot back to Earth and declare victory.
    Besides, the robots won't be the least bit motivated by the presence of the women already on mars!

    giphy.gif

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    Robots do great at repetitive tasks. That's why I'm wondering about a robot (it would have to rely on some pretty sophisticated AI) that can actually do "first time" tasks, adapting to the environment, terrain, unexpected complications, etc.

    I'd love to see it.
    yeah because remote control isn't an option when you have a several minute lag at the very minimum. Seems to me simpler to just send people. Besides being able to do the tasks, they can improvise if need be.

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    Robots do great at repetitive tasks. That's why I'm wondering about a robot (it would have to rely on some pretty sophisticated AI) that can actually do "first time" tasks, adapting to the environment, terrain, unexpected complications, etc.

    I'd love to see it.
    We've sent several robotic rovers to Mars now, and they've done pretty well (though they haven't done anything as complicated as construction). We could probably use the same principles to do construction, however. It wouldn't be real-time remote control, but folks here could still have quite a bit of control over the process.
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    tWebber Leonhard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    We've sent several robotic rovers to Mars now, and they've done pretty well (though they haven't done anything as complicated as construction). We could probably use the same principles to do construction, however. It wouldn't be real-time remote control, but folks here could still have quite a bit of control over the process.
    I've always wondered if we'll cross some threshold with 3d-printing and minifactoring where suddenly creating a lot of different types of spare parts on Mars wouldn't be as problematic.

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    We've sent several robotic rovers to Mars now, and they've done pretty well (though they haven't done anything as complicated as construction). We could probably use the same principles to do construction, however. It wouldn't be real-time remote control, but folks here could still have quite a bit of control over the process.
    I believe robotics has advanced further than you describe, and three D printing. Robotics do perform complicated tasks remotely here on earth and these skills can be transferred to Mars missions. I believe the cost and the risk of sending humans is greater than may believe.
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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    I believe robotics has advanced further than you describe, and three D printing. Robotics do perform complicated tasks remotely here on earth and these skills can be transferred to Mars missions. I believe the cost and the risk of sending humans is greater than may believe.
    Interestingly enough, Harry Ried, as noted here, supports humans in space.

    The shadowy program — parts of it remain classified — began in 2007, and initially it was largely funded at the request of Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who was the Senate majority leader at the time and who has long had an interest in space phenomena. Most of the money went to an aerospace research company run by a billionaire entrepreneur and longtime friend of Mr. Reid’s, Robert Bigelow, who is currently working with NASA to produce expandable craft for humans to use in space.

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