Author Topic: When Astronauts Return to the Moon...  (Read 5842 times)

Offline Halcyon Dayz, FCD

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Re: When Astronauts Return to the Moon...
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2020, 10:05:06 PM »
You can't talk about the future (or past) of space travel without talking about space policy.
You can't talk about space policy without talking about politics.
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Offline JayUtah

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Re: When Astronauts Return to the Moon...
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2020, 01:34:30 PM »
American politics have become so badly entrenched that I think that, without corrective action, the U.S. will soon cease to be a functioning democracy.  I think the right relies a bit more on conspiratorial thinking than the left, but I see the right talking about the Deep State and the left talking about an oligarchy of billionaires.  Facially, these are both accusations of conspiracy, so that's where we are.  Certainly if one wants to look carefully at the evidence one can determine whether any of the accusations have any teeth.  That's probably not an exercise for this thread.

Questions like "Why haven't we gone back to the Moon?" or "Why haven't we continued on to Mars?" have historically required answers rooted deeply in political history.  The recent history of space policy seems to be various political interests using NASA for practically anything except a coherent purpose.  When political direction and funding levels change according to election cycles, it's hard to do real engineering that requires outlooks measured in tens of years.  The political magic of Apollo was in maintaining focus for long enough to set a ten-year plan and accomplish it.  If you guarantee me a focused directive and a suitable funding level for ten years, I can do great things.  If you change my direction or cut my budget every two years, we'll be largely adrift.

I don't see the future of space exploration being so limited by political vicissitude and dysfunction.  One of the advantages of an oligarchy of billionaires is that some people can afford their own private space programs.  What once strictly required the resources of large governments to capitalize has now become achievable by individuals and private business.  Yes, they do seek out contracts from governments because that's still an important part of the business.  But I firmly believe that private companies will develop manned space exploration technology simply because they want to.  And because they have private owners in charge, they can maintain the focus and funding that it will take to get them there.  If we want to have a credible nationalized space program moving forward, I believe we'll have to do a major overhaul of NASA, its oversight, and its funding.
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Offline TippedIceberg

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Re: When Astronauts Return to the Moon...
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2020, 08:49:48 AM »
...will the Apollo Hoax and Flat Earth persist?

I think so. If the Artemis missions happen as planned, I'd guess every variable is going to be compared to Apollo. Probably going to be a lot of new denier arguments that boil down to "they didn't do that in the 60s!".

Examples:
  • Longer comms delay due to digital processing = "the delay in 1969 wasn't this long"
  • Different descent module propulsion or lunar south pole surface properties dig crater under lander = "proof they forgot to add a crater on the Apollo sets"
  • Any technical issues = "but they did this with less power than a calculator in 1969?"


Offline Dalhousie

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Re: When Astronauts Return to the Moon...
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2020, 09:47:00 PM »

I think so. If the Artemis missions happen as planned, I'd guess every variable is going to be compared to Apollo. Probably going to be a lot of new denier arguments that boil down to "they didn't do that in the 60s!".

Examples:
  • Longer comms delay due to digital processing = "the delay in 1969 wasn't this long"
  • Different descent module propulsion or lunar south pole surface properties dig crater under lander = "proof they forgot to add a crater on the Apollo sets"
  • Any technical issues = "but they did this with less power than a calculator in 1969?"

You are seeing it already it the Chang'e and Yutu missions.  Other than those calling them fake people are asking why  does the Moon look different to Apollo images.  Which could be a round about way of suggesting that either or both could be fake.

Offline smartcooky

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Re: When Astronauts Return to the Moon...
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2020, 06:07:03 AM »
You can't talk about the future (or past) of space travel without talking about space policy.
You can't talk about space policy without talking about politics.

Well you can talk about the future if you talk "private space"....

We have a new Space Race and its not a race between nations, its a race between companies; the biggest players at this time are SpaceX and Blue Origin. The new Space Race involves no pork, no back-handers and no politics, just a bunch of very smart, enthusiastic people getting things done.
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Offline gillianren

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Re: When Astronauts Return to the Moon...
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2020, 11:03:20 AM »
Oh, I'd dispute that.  For one thing, there are definitely politics between companies, and between companies and governments.
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Offline Obviousman

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Re: When Astronauts Return to the Moon...
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2020, 03:04:22 PM »
It would be an interesting exercise to find out what proportion of his ardent base are Apollo deniers, flat earthers and JFK conspiracy believers. I'd put money on that figure being appreciably higher than the national average.

I agree it would be interesting but as for the result? I am not sure.

Offline smartcooky

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Re: When Astronauts Return to the Moon...
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2020, 11:31:56 PM »
Oh, I'd dispute that.  For one thing, there are definitely politics between companies, and between companies and governments.


But its not "politics" politics

Congress Critter from from State 'A', can't say "I'm not going to vote the money for project 'X' unless facility "Y" is built in my State (which is what happened with the STS when booster manufacturing got moved to Utah, and you can draw a direct line between that piece of extortion, and the Challenger accident.)

If the US Government tries playing hardball with SpaceX, well, Mexico isn't very far from Boca Chica, and its closer to the equator too!     
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Offline gillianren

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Re: When Astronauts Return to the Moon...
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2020, 10:31:03 AM »
But we know that worker abuses inside Elon Musk's companies are pretty bad, and I'd rather have a bit of pork than employees who are expected to put in 120-hour weeks.
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Offline Dalhousie

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Re: When Astronauts Return to the Moon...
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2020, 05:42:08 PM »
Yeah, it’s Cosmoquest (Bad Astronomy A’s was) that stamps out political discussion. I was once reprimanded there for comparing the Apollo budget with the amount spent on the military in the US as that was deemed a political point. Then saying I meant it only as a mathematical comparison got me a warning for arguing with the mods. I don’t there much these days....

Same here.

Offline smartcooky

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Re: When Astronauts Return to the Moon...
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2020, 06:32:19 PM »
But we know that worker abuses inside Elon Musk's companies are pretty bad, and I'd rather have a bit of pork than employees who are expected to put in 120-hour weeks.

The first thing I would say is that if people feel they are being abused at SpaceX or Tesla, they are free take their cases to a worker's rights organisation or leave and find a less demanding job. There isn't exactly a shortage of jobs in aerospace. If I was 40 years younger, I'd be happy to be putting in 120 hour weeks as an Aerospace Engineer somewhere like SpaceX, or Blue Origin or Rocketlab. Its about on a par with what I was doing anyway as an Avionics Engineer at that time of my life in the NZ military.

The second thing is that workers rights in the private sector is not "political" politics.

The third thing is that "Pork Barrel Politics" is another word for corruption. You are surely not OK with corruption?

Now I might be coming across as a bit of a fanboy of SpaceX, Blue Origin and Rocketlab, and that is because I am. I see them doing things that have advanced space technology more in the past 5-10 years than NASA has in the last forty. FFS, two of them  are working toward 100% re-usability of their hardware (and the third has announced plans to recover and re-use their first stage). SpaceX is already bringing back large percentages of their launch hardware and re-using it, doing little more than kicking the tyres and topping up the water and oil before pumping in the fuel, loading up another payload and sending it into orbit for their customer. No-one has done this sort of thing to this level before (and anyone who wants to claim STS was reusable in the way SpaceX hardware is, can go whistle Dixie).

Part of the reason why they are able to do all this because they are not subject to the whims, fancies and political ambitions of corrupt politicians. This allows them to set long term goals without having to worry about changes of government bringing changes of attitudes and funding cuts.

For the last 40 years, I have been disappointed by the great, promising space projects that have been cancelled or dramatically reduced at the political whims of self-interested or short-sighted politicians. Some examples are the Europa Orbiter, the Terrestrial Planet Finder, the Gravity and Extreme Magnetism probe, X-38 and HL-20 CRV, and most of all the Constellation program - had Constellation not been canned, we would probably already be back on the Moon by now.

Right now, I have the same feeling of excitement about the future of space that I did as a pre-teen and teenager during the Gemini-Apollo programmes of the 1960's. These private space companies are going ahead apace, something that is much easier to do without the Congressional "Sword of Damocles" hanging over them all the time.
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Offline gillianren

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Re: When Astronauts Return to the Moon...
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2020, 12:34:11 PM »
Tesla and Space-X are violating laws about how to treat workers; you're okay with that?
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Offline MBDK

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Re: When Astronauts Return to the Moon...
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2020, 02:52:36 PM »
Tesla and Space-X are violating laws about how to treat workers; you're okay with that?
I agree with you.  Furthermore, I fear that private space enterprises will eventually lead to bigger headaches down the road if for-profit space companies go bankrupt, or need bail-outs.  One imagined scenario is a future space station, with significant radioactive and biological hazards still aboard, abandoned by a bankrupted private firm.  Who will be responsible for its mitigation once its orbit destabilizes?
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Offline smartcooky

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Re: When Astronauts Return to the Moon...
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2020, 08:12:47 PM »
Tesla and Space-X are violating laws about how to treat workers; you're okay with that?

Are they? Have they been charged with this or is it just the rumor-mill churning again?

Is this a widespread thing, or just disgruntled employees trying to get revenge and a payout?

The most recent cases I can find are this one from 2014. another one from 2014 and one from 2015. Got anything more recent?

SpaceX employs about 6000 people (even after the layoffs in 2019) and Tesla about 44,000. The law suits I linked above were from four people. I wonder how the other 49,996 employees feel about their working conditions?
« Last Edit: January 11, 2020, 08:37:45 PM by smartcooky »
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Offline smartcooky

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Re: When Astronauts Return to the Moon...
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2020, 08:21:04 PM »
Tesla and Space-X are violating laws about how to treat workers; you're okay with that?
I agree with you.  Furthermore, I fear that private space enterprises will eventually lead to bigger headaches down the road if for-profit space companies go bankrupt, or need bail-outs.  One imagined scenario is a future space station, with significant radioactive and biological hazards still aboard, abandoned by a bankrupted private firm.  Who will be responsible for its mitigation once its orbit destabilizes?

What makes you think government space organisations would act differenty (Think Cosmos 954 and Cosmos 1402)?
► What you can assert without evidence, I can dismiss without evidence
► When you argue with idiots you risk being dragged down to their level and beaten with experience.
► Conspiracism is a shortcut to the illusion of erudition