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NASA SLS/Orion/Payloads

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1 hour ago, Nikolai said:

It seems to me that you're treating geology as if it is the sum total of the reasons that we go, or that all of the reasons that we want to go move at the same pace as geologic time.

G'th was specifically using the amount of rocks returned as a (quite arbitrary) yardstick for comparing robotic and manned missions. So geology is pretty much the only field involved.

1 hour ago, Nikolai said:

A fairer comparison might be the number of science publications produced per Apollo dollar versus the number of science publications produced per unmanned mission dollar.

We were talking specifically about Mars, but even with your metric, I wouldn't be surprised if Voyager alone produced more papers than Apollo. If you add up all the unmanned missions from Pioneer to New Horizons, I'm pretty sure you'll exceed Apollo papers by an order of magnitude.

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3 hours ago, tater said:

What science requires data from Mars? Planetary (Mars) science. That's it.

Why are we necessarily concerned about sciences that primarily exist to return data (presumably, to people on Earth)?

I would argue, for example, that a valuable component of manned exploration is as a prelude to manned habitation.  There are engineering disciplines that would need to be done on Mars, for example, because they'd be the final test bed for implementation.  I admit that many sciences could be more comfortably, conveniently, and economically explored right here and now -- especially if we're talking about ones attempting to boil natural phenomena down to overarching theories that should apply every bit as well here as there.  But science is about much more than reduction to theory -- and ultimately, in applied sciences, there's no substitute for being there.

Note that this does not mean that I think that Apollo was doing it right, nor that the proposed mission using multiple SLS launches to get us to Mars was doing it right.

3 hours ago, Nibb31 said:

G'th was specifically using the amount of rocks returned as a (quite arbitrary) yardstick for comparing robotic and manned missions. So geology is pretty much the only field involved.

I concede that geology is more comprehensively performed with rocks.  I don't want to pretend, however, that that's the only reason we go places in space, with robots or with humans.

3 hours ago, Nibb31 said:

We were talking specifically about Mars, but even with your metric, I wouldn't be surprised if Voyager alone produced more papers than Apollo.

Let me be plain.  It's not my desire to create a metric that would justify Apollo with this.  My point was that asking for Mars papers written over the last three decades that used manned versus unmanned expeditions seemed like a rather pronounced exercise of motivated reasoning.

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2 minutes ago, Nikolai said:

Why are we necessarily concerned about sciences that primarily exist to return data (presumably, to people on Earth)?

Because we are talking about science, and in particular science that can only be done on Mars or the Moon (in the discussion above).

2 minutes ago, Nikolai said:

I would argue, for example, that a valuable component of manned exploration is as a prelude to manned habitation.  There are engineering disciplines that would need to be done on Mars, for example, because they'd be the final test bed for implementation.  I admit that many sciences could be more comfortably, conveniently, and economically explored right here and now -- especially if we're talking about ones attempting to boil natural phenomena down to overarching theories that should apply every bit as well here as there.  But science is about much more than reduction to theory -- and ultimately, in applied sciences, there's no substitute for being there.

Human spaceflight science/medicine is circular in the sense it's only useful to send human places. You can test martian or lunar gravity in a centrifuge in LEO, for example. But we were not discussing that, or engineering, we were discussing planetary science.

While there is no remote sensing substitute for surface data, the ability of remotely operated (or indeed autonomous) systems to do this work has continually increased over time, and is accelerating. 20 years from now such probes will be far more capable than they are now. 

Curiosity "sees" things people could not see without the same instruments:

2 minutes ago, Nikolai said:

Note that this does not mean that I think that Apollo was doing it right, nor that the proposed mission using multiple SLS launches to get us to Mars was doing it right.

I concede that geology is more comprehensively performed with rocks.  I don't want to pretend, however, that that's the only reason we go places in space, with robots or with humans.

Let me be plain.  It's not my desire to create a metric that would justify Apollo with this.  My point was that asking for Mars papers written over the last three decades that used manned versus unmanned expeditions seemed like a rather pronounced exercise of motivated reasoning.

There are a number of reasons to go to space. Robots, for both the feeling of exploration, and for actual knowledge about the universe we live in.

Human spaceflight is pretty much only for that visceral (even if vicarious) feeling of exploration. If we choose to inhabit space permanently at some point, then it will be a place to live and work, as well. If the goal was just science, probes would do almost everything, and eventually will do everything far, far better than people.

Regarding geologists on site, if you are sending people, then of course, you send experts who can select better samples. That's leveraging the fact that we've spent vast sums to land huge payloads on a return mission. A slow rover could just as well collect the same quantity (and quality, the decisions are still being made by geologists, after all) over a longer time frame, but time doesn't matter that much, it's only limited by engineering concerns for the return stage (boil off, etc).

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1 hour ago, tater said:

Because we are talking about science, and in particular science that can only be done on Mars or the Moon (in the discussion above).

Right.  But my point was that it is not only planetary science that requires being on a planet.  (Or are you of the opinion that engineering is not science?)

1 hour ago, tater said:

Human spaceflight science/medicine is circular in the sense it's only useful to send human places. You can test martian or lunar gravity in a centrifuge in LEO, for example. But we were not discussing that, or engineering, we were discussing planetary science.

My objective was to expand the discussion beyond things like geology as a reason to send humans to Mars (eventually).  The only place we can test all the different components of a Martian environment simultaneously against our engineering cleverness is Mars.  This kind of testing will be necessary if we seek to establish a permanent human presence on Mars.

Again, I'll try to be plain: If geology, or things that operate on geological time scales, are your sole reason for going, then robots make a lot of sense now, and will make even more sense in the future.  But I don't think that fact means that we have no scientific reason to be there with people at allever.

If we want to use "Science!" as a reason to send people, we have to expand the conversation beyond geology into the sorts of science we can't do with robots.  (Then we can discuss how well we're doing those other sciences -- if we're honest, kind of in a half-assed way, it seems to me -- but sticking with geology only presents part of the picture, and we can't really treat the "Science!" claims with any merit if we stick to only particular kinds of science.)

1 hour ago, tater said:

If we choose to inhabit space permanently at some point, then it will be a place to live and work, as well.

Yes.  And while we're there, we'll have to pit our scientific wherewithal against the challenges the planet presents.  We do that already, in a smaller sense, because humans can't rump naked and eat berries from the local wildlife everywhere we live on Earth; we depend on a certain technological prowess in order to make certain locations livable year-round.  But that's just a difference in the scale of technological ability.

1 hour ago, tater said:

Human spaceflight is pretty much only for that visceral (even if vicarious) feeling of exploration.

At the moment, yes, aside from infrequent bits of science and engineering that test our understanding of what happens to humans there, or tests our cleverness at coming up with solutions to keeping humans alive in a hazardous environment.  But I don't begrudge it that.

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1 hour ago, Nikolai said:

Right.  But my point was that it is not only planetary science that requires being on a planet.  (Or are you of the opinion that engineering is not science?)

Engineering is by definition not science.

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My objective was to expand the discussion beyond things like geology as a reason to send humans to Mars (eventually).  The only place we can test all the different components of a Martian environment simultaneously against our engineering cleverness is Mars.  This kind of testing will be necessary if we seek to establish a permanent human presence on Mars.

I've not argued any of that, specifically. SLS/Orion is part of the NASA Design Reference Architecture for Mars, certainly (trying desperately to keep SLS in the discussion!). The DRA requires all kinds of novel hardware, certainly, but it all will be tested here first, then perhaps unmanned at Mars before they'd risk crew.

Note that Mars DRA 5 has 4 rovers per mission, 2 pressurized (for 2 crew, so think "The Martian"), and 2 unpressurized. Just one of the pressurized versions is easily larger than any possible sample collection robot. Stick rocks in robot MAV (now tiny, because no crew), send home. Automatically cheaper than the 4 rovers, hab, crew descent vehicle, MAV, and transfer vehicle. Land 4 of them different places, and you have more varied samples for a fraction of the cost of 1 mission. Plus all other instruments on the craft, and the rovers do that work possibly for decades after samples are already home.

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Again, I'll try to be plain: If geology, or things that operate on geological time scales, are your sole reason for going, then robots make a lot of sense now, and will make even more sense in the future.  But I don't think that fact means that we have no scientific reason to be there with people at allever.

If we want to use "Science!" as a reason to send people, we have to expand the conversation beyond geology into the sorts of science we can't do with robots.  (Then we can discuss how well we're doing those other sciences -- if we're honest, kind of in a half-assed way, it seems to me -- but sticking with geology only presents part of the picture, and we can't really treat the "Science!" claims with any merit if we stick to only particular kinds of science.)

There is almost no science that can be done off Earth better by humans than humans on Earth, with the sensor technology anyplace it needs to be. Take a really obvious example of desirable science off of Earth that SLS could loft, telescopes. They could be placed in space, or even on the lunar surface (far side), though dust is an issue for optical there, so we'll assume radio interferometry. Once placed, people are not needed. The only science that requires people is biology, specifically human factors in spaceflight (and animal experiments might be far easier with human caretakers for a while, anyway).

Useful for sending people to space, not useful for anything past that.

On topic, the SLS fairing would allow 2 B330 inflatable habitats to be lofted such that they could be tethered and spun to Mars effective gravity to test humans for bone issues, and animals for effects on breeding over generations. Super useful if you want people on Mars for the long haul.

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Yes.  And while we're there, we'll have to pit our scientific wherewithal against the challenges the planet presents.  We do that already, in a smaller sense, because humans can't rump naked and eat berries from the local wildlife everywhere we live on Earth; we depend on a certain technological prowess in order to make certain locations livable year-round.  But that's just a difference in the scale of technological ability.

Habitation is mostly an engineering challenge, not a scientific one.

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At the moment, yes, aside from infrequent bits of science and engineering that test our understanding of what happens to humans there, or tests our cleverness at coming up with solutions to keeping humans alive in a hazardous environment.  But I don't begrudge it that.

I like it just because it's cool. It'd different to see (or talk to) a person there, than watching video from a probe, for example.

Edited by tater

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1 hour ago, Nikolai said:

Right.  But my point was that it is not only planetary science that requires being on a planet.  (Or are you of the opinion that engineering is not science?)

It isn't. Engineering uses science, but they are two different fields of work with different methodologies and purposes.

1 hour ago, Nikolai said:

My objective was to expand the discussion beyond things like geology as a reason to send humans to Mars (eventually).  The only place we can test all the different components of a Martian environment simultaneously against our engineering cleverness is Mars.  This kind of testing will be necessary if we seek to establish a permanent human presence on Mars.

So you are agreeing that the only thing can learn by sending humans to Mars is how to send humans to Mars. Now all you need is to find a reason to send humans to Mars in order to learn how to send humans to Mars. Circular.

 

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3 minutes ago, Nibb31 said:

So you are agreeing that the only thing can learn by sending humans to Mars is how to send humans to Mars. Now all you need is to find a reason to send humans to Mars in order to learn how to send humans to Mars. Circular.

As is much of other astronautic, space engineering and astromedical research.

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Embrace the circularity!

Sending people to other worlds is valuable for no other reason than expanding human horizons. That's OK.

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38 minutes ago, tater said:

expanding human horizons

I endorse this service/product.

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19 hours ago, Nibb31 said:

snip

Unless you send a crew with nothing but a small dolly to cart stuff around the radius of a crewed mission is only limited by consumables and how long the crew can maintain power. A proper mission is going to have at least a pressurized rover supported by a consistent power supply and plenty of consumables for a long expedition. And if we want to get over being over-safe, we can have multiple teams going in different directions.

And for the same cost, you could send dozens of robots that can't do the same science and won't provide anywhere near the same kind of returns.  I've already touched on this.  Either show me this magic robot or find another argument to hang these pessimist views on. Neither your or Tater has, and you aren't going to because there isn't one. 

And time is actually a factor, because time is money. The magic robot isn't going to get funding if it can't give meaningful results in a timely manner, because to everyone who can make that decision all they hear is an huge investment in a robot thats not going to deliver on its investment for years after the moneys been invested, and ultimately isn't going to impress anyone. Good luck selling your magic robot if you can't make the investment worth it, and no robot going to Mars is going to be worth it anymore unless thats all you can send. And if thats the case, its not gonna be your magic robot going up.

12 hours ago, tater said:

It need not do it in the same few hours on the surface, it needs no life support. The time limit for Jack Schmitt was the consumables carried on the LEM. The robot doesn't need any. 

Wrong, I don't have to show anything other than demonstrate that a mechanism could have less mass than the entire crew component (people, support, etc) you intend to land. For modern robotics and Mars, this is self-evidently true. The rovers they plan on sending for crew are alone vastly larger than any robotic rover required, and in fact would be capable of remote operation as part of the DRA.

Moving goal posts. I posed the scenario of an astronaut versus a robot in the same situation in the same amount of time.  No matter how you decide to spin the magic robot theory here, the astronaut is going to win every time.  Because not only does the astronaut not suffer from communication delay of at least 3 minutes, but also doesn't need to wait for at least 20 other people to examine every area of a photograph and then debate on which thing to look at. 

And this is the same even if you stretch the time period over a day, a month, or even years. Whatever time the robot gains by not needing to rest or be resupplied is going to be offset by the sheer fact that it will take at least that much longer to do the same science the astronaut is doing.

And yet again, thats if you can even put a robot on Mars that can do the same science.  I still haven't seen the magic robot. It having less mass doesn't automatically make it capable of the same science at less cost, and that doesn't even correlate unless you're making up components. A robot that can beat a human is not going to be cost effective for time spent. 

12 hours ago, tater said:

I agree, I was just clarifying for people, since the Apollo budget was so vast,

157 billion dollars over 13 years is not vast. And that was for the entirety of the American portion of the Space Race.

 

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G'th was specifically using the amount of rocks returned as a (quite arbitrary) yardstick for comparing robotic and manned missions. So geology is pretty much the only field involved.

It wasn't arbitrary. That metric was born out of the discussion. Read the topic.

Also, lets try and be realistic and give Apollo the same amount of time as the probes to do its science before we start unfairly comparing their output.  

Edited by G'th

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2 hours ago, G'th said:

Unless you send a crew with nothing but a small dolly to cart stuff around the radius of a crewed mission is only limited by consumables and how long the crew can maintain power. A proper mission is going to have at least a pressurized rover supported by a consistent power supply and plenty of consumables for a long expedition. And if we want to get over being over-safe, we can have multiple teams going in different directions.

The Mars DRA includes 4 rovers per crew mission, 2 pressurized, 2 unpressurized. Any one of them if a sample collection robot instead, easily.

It's important to remember why they have rovers in the DRA. It's because manned missions will land someplace BORING, and they hope they can drive someplace interesting. The landing eclipse for a manned mission is going to be flat, flat, and flat. Robot missions can be spammed to far more interesting (i.e.: dangerous) places where the geology is exposed. Geologists want to visit the Grand Canyon, not Kansas. Robots go to the canyons on Mars, not people.

 

2 hours ago, G'th said:

And for the same cost, you could send dozens of robots that can't do the same science and won't provide anywhere near the same kind of returns.  I've already touched on this.  Either show me this magic robot or find another argument to hang these pessimist views on. Neither your or Tater has, and you aren't going to because there isn't one. 

You're talking out your posterior. The same cost has never been spent on a probe as a human mission. The mere act of man-rating a rocket costs more than entire probe programs end to end, running for decades.

Stop throwing around "pessimist" when you mean "using real life data."

2 hours ago, G'th said:

And time is actually a factor, because time is money. The magic robot isn't going to get funding if it can't give meaningful results in a timely manner, because to everyone who can make that decision all they hear is an huge investment in a robot thats not going to deliver on its investment for years after the moneys been invested, and ultimately isn't going to impress anyone. Good luck selling your magic robot if you can't make the investment worth it, and no robot going to Mars is going to be worth it anymore unless thats all you can send. And if thats the case, its not gonna be your magic robot going up.

You literally have no idea what you are talking about. Time for a sample return mission is entirely fixed by orbital mechanics. They either spend about 1 month on the surface (Mars), or a year or so. Rovers are controlled by... scientists. Those people pick what they want it to collect, and it will collect it. The ability of intelligent systems to do this at least as well as any geologist is coming very soon if it is not already here. Deep learning systems trained for 15 minutes outperformed pathologists recently---analyzing images for patterns that represented cancer. Similar learning could teach them to ID interesting rocks (real geologists lick every rock they see in my experience, which they can't do on Mars, so they're hobbled there :wink: ).

2 hours ago, G'th said:

Moving goal posts. I posed the scenario of an astronaut versus a robot in the same situation in the same amount of time.  No matter how you decide to spin the magic robot theory here, the astronaut is going to win every time.  Because not only does the astronaut not suffer from communication delay of at least 3 minutes, but also doesn't need to wait for at least 20 other people to examine every area of a photograph and then debate on which thing to look at. 

Nonsense. Goals are unmoved, because real goals don't have an artificial time limit. Say we optimistically assume by magic that NASA gets a huge funding increase to go to Mars in 20 years. Given the same funding, and same 20 years, the robots will be landing a decade before there is a chance at a human mission, since they can land those now (the challenges have a lot to do with life support). 20 years from now the astronauts are just returning with rocks, meanwhile in the robot universe, they've been getting sample returns every synod from different regions for 10 years.

 

2 hours ago, G'th said:

And this is the same even if you stretch the time period over a day, a month, or even years. Whatever time the robot gains by not needing to rest or be resupplied is going to be offset by the sheer fact that it will take at least that much longer to do the same science the astronaut is doing.

Nope. The astronaut is not "doing science" he's collecting rocks. If they are there for a year, and they are given a proper lab, then maybe he starts sectioning rocks, and doing real science, but a robot the size of a large manned rover could section rocks and send home digital images and the scientist would see them just as well, then decide to fid different rocks. The mission is either a 30 day grab rocks and dash, or it's wait till a return window.

 

2 hours ago, G'th said:

And yet again, thats if you can even put a robot on Mars that can do the same science.  I still haven't seen the magic robot. It having less mass doesn't automatically make it capable of the same science at less cost, and that doesn't even correlate unless you're making up components. A robot that can beat a human is not going to be cost effective for time spent. 

157 billion dollars over 13 years is not vast. And that was for the entirety of the American portion of the Space Race.

 

It wasn't arbitrary. That metric was born out of the discussion. Read the topic.

Also, lets try and be realistic and give Apollo the same amount of time as the probes to do its science before we start unfairly comparing their output.  

 

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Lol. I'm tired of this idiocy. Have fun agreeing with yourself and your magic robot you've yet to show me. Keep going on and on about real data when you've yet to show me anything factual. Its boring. 

And before you decide to start throwing mass numbers at me like they mean anything, I'm going to for probably the 100th time, ask you to show me the magic robot.  Less mass =/= better science.

Edited by G'th

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Life supports have a non-zero mass. The DRA rovers are already robots, they have comms, and can be remote controlled. they ARE robots, and the mission specifies 2 of them. 

So land the rover (which is done ahead of time, anyway), and it delivers rocks to the MAV. Done. It;s the same DRA, with fewer landers, and vastly less mass.

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1 hour ago, tater said:

Life supports have a non-zero mass. The DRA rovers are already robots, they have comms, and can be remote controlled. they ARE robots, and the mission specifies 2 of them. 

So land the rover (which is done ahead of time, anyway), and it delivers rocks to the MAV. Done. It;s the same DRA, with fewer landers, and vastly less mass.

Called it.  Again, show me the magic robot.

Do you not understand english? SHOW ME THE ROBOT.

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Show me the manned Mars spacecraft. There are neither manned spacecraft, nor unmanned at this point, they are both powerpoint presentations. The robotic version actually has a tested analog, Curiosity (and others). Your manned mission has NOTHING. Not even Orion has been tested as a flight article.

Edited by tater

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Guys, calm down. This interesting thread is on the verge of bringing moderator's ire down on itself.

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1 hour ago, tater said:

Show me the manned Mars spacecraft. There are neither manned spacecraft, nor unmanned at this point, they are both powerpoint presentations. The robotic version actually has a tested analog, Curiosity (and others). Your manned mission has NOTHING. Not even Orion has been tested as a flight article.

Manned spacecraft isn't an unproven or nonexistent technology, and Curiosity is no where near the capabilities of the magic robot you have yet to show me despite repeated requests.

And also, very cute trying to shift the burden of proof here. You're arguing against manned spaceflight, that burden is on you.

Guys, calm down. This interesting thread is on the verge of bringing moderator's ire down on itself.

 

I'm perfectly calm :)  

 

Edited by G'th

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6 minutes ago, G'th said:

Manned spacecraft isn't an unproven or nonexistent technology, and Curiosity is no where near the capabilities of the magic robot you have yet to show me despite repeated requests.

Show me your magic Mars spacecraft. All the sample robot needs to have is an arm, and a sample container. Viking had a collection arm. Manned spacecraft to Mars ARE entirely unproven. We've never landed anything more massive than Curiosity on Mars. By your logic, any manned Mars mission must then land crew in Curiosity sized landers, right? 

NASA was interested in Red Dragon precisely because they've never landed anything remotely close to the mass required for a manned mission.

ISS has 5 of 6 crew working all their work hours keeping the station running, and 1 man-day per day of science gets done. That's with constant parts resupply (dragon, progress, OATK, etc). We have nothing tested that can go years with no resupply. NOTHING about manned Mars is mature. This is self-evident stuff, you must know this.

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And also, very cute trying to shift the burden of proof here. You're arguing against manned spaceflight, that burden is on you.

I'm arguing something long demonstrated, that probes are cheaper than people. It's as true for Jupiter as it is for Mars.

Edited by tater

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All the sample robot needs to have is an arm, and a sample container

hahahahhahhhhaahaHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

You should be a comedian man seriously. You can't even keep your "facts" straight.  A sample robot that simple isn't going to be and literally cannot be doing what an astronaut can do.

And yet again, you try to shift the burden of proof.  Should really take a debate class or something man cause you are not arguing your case very effectively here. Landing a manned spacecraft on Mars is an engineering issue. You build the craft and get it working, and it WILL land. This isn't the 50's, your eyes aren't going to pop out of their sockets in Mars gravity.

We aren't dealing with unknowns, just engineering issues, which if you start engineering something will be resolved.  Your magic robot is based on nothing and has absolutely no precedent, because Curiosity is nowhere near the capabilities of a robot that can match a human.

1 hour ago, tater said:

I'm arguing something long demonstrated, that probes are cheaper than people. It's as true for Jupiter as it is for Mars.

Oh so now its not about cost effectiveness, its just about whats strictly cheaper. Oooooooooookayyyyyyyyyyyy.  Gee, this isn't where I left the goal posts!

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Here's the op-topic Mars DRA (SLS launched):

373665main_NASA-SP-2009-566.pdf

https://www.nasa.gov/pdf/373665main_NASA-SP-2009-566.pdf

The mission (this is as close to real as any aspect of any mars architecture at all, manned or unmanned) specifies 2 robotic rovers at 500kg, 2 unpressurized rovers of the same mass, and 2 pressurized rovers at 9600 kg each. (2 kinds pictured above). 

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1 hour ago, tater said:

Here's the op-topic Mars DRA (SLS launched):

373665main_NASA-SP-2009-566.pdf

https://www.nasa.gov/pdf/373665main_NASA-SP-2009-566.pdf

The mission (this is as close to real as any aspect of any mars architecture at all, manned or unmanned) specifies 2 robotic rovers at 500kg, 2 unpressurized rovers of the same mass, and 2 pressurized rovers at 9600 kg each. (2 kinds pictured above). 

Used specifically to support and clear the way for a manned landing, not to supplant it altogether. Also not on topic for that matter.

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17 minutes ago, G'th said:

hahahahhahhhhaahaHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

You should be a comedian man seriously. You can't even keep your "facts" straight.  A sample robot that simple isn't going to be and literally cannot be doing what an astronaut can do.

It's a rover with all the other gear that curiosity or its follow-on has, PLUS a collection arm and containers. The DRA includes ~20 tons of rovers. Make one good one out of the 2 robots, and 4 crew rovers. The DRA is all you have for a "real" manned mission, and it's ALL just a white paper. Nothing in it has flown, not even Orion, which was just boilerplate.

Everything being equal in mass, there are 213 tons of stuff landed (not counting the ascent vehicle!), of which ~14 tons is not crew related. 199 tons of crew stuff. Pretty sure we can make a rover with that, and just as real as the DRA (since the included rovers are already robots, they just need the rover science stuff added in place of crew).

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And yet again, you try to shift the burden of proof.  Should really take a debate class or something man cause you are not arguing your case very effectively here. Landing a manned spacecraft on Mars is an engineering issue. You build the craft and get it working, and it WILL land. This isn't the 50's, your eyes aren't going to pop out of their sockets in Mars gravity.

I'm actually presenting information, you've long-since lost.

No large craft has landed on Mars, and NASA is legitimately concerned/interested. In fact, the majority of NASA data on supersonic retropropulsion has come in the last few years from Falcon 9. While the upper atmosphere of Earth is an analog of the martian atmosphere, they want a real test, hence RD interest (now perhaps ITSy).

It is not mature, not a done deal. They will certain test, and in fact NASA wants Mars sample return (robotic) as a priority, this was news in the last couple weeks for people who follow NASA as a priority for them.

 

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We aren't dealing with unknowns, just engineering issues, which if you start engineering something will be resolved.  Your magic robot is based on nothing and has absolutely no precedent, because Curiosity is nowhere near the capabilities of a robot that can match a human.

Oh so now its not about cost effectiveness, its just about whats strictly cheaper. Oooooooooookayyyyyyyyyyyy.  Gee, this isn't where I left the goal posts!

No, it;s entirely about cost effectiveness. That it's vastly cheaper underlines it. Manned spaceflight is a stunt. It's a great stunt, and I want us to spend billions on it, but it's a stunt. If we send a mission for flags and footprints, then by all means, we should leverage it by sending scientists, just don't pretend people are needed. We are not needed, and every year we become less needed. AGI is also just an engineering problem that will eventually be solved.

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Used specifically to support and clear the way for a manned landing, not to supplant it altogether. Also not on topic for that matter.

Entirely on topic, this is the best you can argue for a manned Mars mission that isn't fantasy, and within this particular thread, it's the DRA that uses SLS/Orion. It could not be more relevant. Did you just read the whole thing that quickly?

Any claim of a Mars mission in THIS thread (SLS/Orion/DSG) is specifically about Mars Design Reference Architecture. That architecture includes robots, and so much mass that creating the proper robot is pretty easy compared to creating life support systems that run for years (does it have backup for an extra synod, just in case?), something that we have yet to do, ISS breaks constantly---good thing they get spare parts many times a year.

Edited by tater

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1 hour ago, tater said:

Did you just read the whole thing that quickly?

DRA 5 doesn't has very much bearing on the question of who do you think will get to Mars, unless you're using as an argument in favor of NASA, in which case I question your motives.

 

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and I want us to spend billions on it, but it's a stunt.

Then you should probably try being supportive of it. Your "realism" is just pessimism, plain and simple, because if you do in fact support manned spaceflight then your continued arguments for robotic spaceflight is just hot air. Arguing over whats cheaper for zero reason, because guess what of course robots are cheaper. They're freaking robots! We can sit here and argue all day long over whats more cost effective over time spent (though you don't seem to get that you don't get funding for something that might take decades to provide some kind of return) but that has no bearing on what should be done. 

You should probably figure out which side of that aisle you want to be on and stick to it. You can't bark up the tree for one side of it and then still say you support the other side too. You either support both or you support only the one. 

I personally want to see both, because I want to see NASA's capability to explore the Solar system greatly expanded. Human's can't go everywhere, so by all means lets get the robots going too. (inb4this'llneverhappen shtick. Yes we know its unlikely, please take your pessimism and go elsewhere with it)

And i'm not getting into your "stunt" nonsense, because that just proves you have zero interest in manned spaceflight anyway. 

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It is not mature, not a done deal. 

And you're confusing a not yet built and flight ready crew lander with whats impossible to build. The issues we still face with Mars has all to do with working out specific engineering kinks that we can't directly simulate. That has nothing to do with whats impossible. The fact that we've put anything on Mars at all shows that much. So all thats left is the engineering.  You seem to be under the impression that theres some great unknown thats going to make Mars impossible to land humans on. And again, this isn't the 50's. Mars is an engineering problem, and one that can and will be solved. You literally said this yourself, so either you agree with me and just don't want to get your argument straight or your just straight lying because you won't admit your wrong.

And thats fine. I don't expect much at this point.

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It's a rover

Thats still just as limited as Curiosity was. Cept now its bigger and can pick up rocks. Still time limited. Still ineffective at field geology. Literally cannot do much of the other science humans can do on Mars. 

We don't have the return vehicle(s). Do you plan on sending dozens of these huge rovers to Mars or do you plan on sending one with a large return vehicle? May be you want to send a bunch of return vehicles. Thats cool, show me how many you can pack in that mass limit thats going to bring back the same variety of samples a human mission would inherently be able to bring back.  Show me the specs on the return vehicle that can not only be packed so densely but can efficiently and consistently return worthwhile samples. What do you do if the rover loses its camera or literally breaks in any way?  

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Call me a pessimist. I'll call you delusional. Mars crew transfer vehicles do not exist and will not exist for another 15 years at least. Show me those magical spaceships that can land people on Mars or those magical mobile labs that can support manned exploration sorties for several days.

Robotic exploration, on the other hand, has existed for years, and in fact it has already returned more data than crewed exploration. Why? Because it's cheaper and more efficient, but also because dedicated tools like MER or Curiosity, with their array of instruments backed up by entire science teams,  are actually much better at field geology than a single human with eyes, hands, and a hammer.

And the fact the one exists whereas the other doesn't proves that it was also faster. The time imperative was won by robots decades ago. Manned missions have been in the works for decades with zero result.

Self driving cars exist. Vehicles that can navigate through rough terrain exist. Computers that can prioritise and make decisions exist. AI advances faster than spaceflight technology. It's just a matter of iterative engineering to transfer those technologies over to robotic exploration, it's not magic. Each generation of space probe gets smarter and more autonomous, while it gets better instruments.

Ideally though, you don't need a robot that can decide which samples to pick up. That sort of decision making is better done by a science team on Earth. What does benefit from autonomous AI is the actual navigation and driving or climbing  over the terrain.

So, all things equal, there is no scenario where a manned mission is faster, cheaper, safer or even higher quality, than a robotic mission.

If you want to justify humans in space, you need to find another reason than science.

Edited by Nibb31

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17 hours ago, Nikolai said:

Why are we necessarily concerned about sciences that primarily exist to return data (presumably, to people on Earth)?

I would argue, for example, that a valuable component of manned exploration is as a prelude to manned habitation.

while i would personnaly argue that in the current whole earth socio-economico-politico-spiltted legacy countries-belief- local tech state schemes, it would be an excellent reason to play 1789 or fallout real scale, but well

valuable , tend to refer to the 1929 post wwii economico "theorically dying but not really dying  explicitly  and effectively colonialist persisting" scheme, and well i ll admit it easily, i personnally don't see any econimcal model lasting forever as for now, and may be the days to come

also i hate* to do it but i m just gonna remind, that 500 ago there was no internet, and no instant translation, and etc. ; it was easier to push populations warmongering each others for silly "meeeh no your not an earth citizen like everyone" reasons "go fight the neighboor because blablabla"... and while today it's kinda also find the pertinent infos in the whole mess as well ... greedy selfish brainwasher and assimilate isn't really what we miss in 2017 ...

just a detail prolly ...

it kinda  bring the "mib", or "stargate" problematics, yup we can effictevely do this or that or not or else, who on earth should know about it , "valuable" is a dangerous word, for who upon who, everyone, a few ?...

Edited by WinkAllKerb''
*bored sort off ... /repeat

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