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Author Topic: Where is more important than how, for now.
Dr. Koller
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Post Where is more important than how, for now.
on: January 6, 2011, 11:24
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Anyone who knows me knows I am heavily biased to returning to the moon. That's NOT because I was on the Apollo 11 launch team, it's because that's the next logical step for an eventual program to colonize beyond earth.

We left power systems and infrastructure at six lunar sites, and that equipment remains available for a lunar program that begins with gradually longer stays on the surface and eventually results in permanent stations on the moon.

Even Robert Bigelow, in his article on pages 68 and 69 of the January issue of Discover magazine, agrees that: "...It is the perfect platform to gain experience from ... frozen water... 20 million tons of Helium 3." Although he is not a fan of NASA, his exploration ambitions don't discount the value of returning to the moon. It's the most logical next step in our quest to use the earth as our launch platform for colonizing the solar system.

Rivet
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Post Re: Where is more important than how, for now.
on: February 22, 2011, 11:28
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When I started working on the Constellation Program PA-1 was already at Dryden. As I worked on Pathfinder and ARES I-X, I kept asking how long would a program like this take to finally get to the moon and what was the objective. The short answer; the objective was to build a colonized base on the moon, get all materials in place to construct a ship that will require less fuel because of lower gravity. It would take an unknown amount of trips to get everything in place and build a launch platform. I am very envious of the generation that will become the astronaut technicians doing all that work!

I guess my next question has to be when, which generation?

Dr. Koller
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Post Re: Where is more important than how, for now.
on: February 22, 2011, 16:51
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Well you sure won't get any argument from me on your question. It begs for some leadership because we are about to step back from many, many years of leadership that we may never re-claim. I hate to say it, but right now our best friends may be the Chinese. They have the money and seem to also have the will to try, which is more than we can do on either count! We're great at playing catch-up but lousy at keeping the lead, and unfortunately most Americans seem unable to grasp the long term implications of failing to capitalize on our investment in space, even though it has produced many of the advances in technology we all enjoy today.

I don't believe for a moment that today's workforce is any less intelligent or even less better prepared than those of the past. I do think most folks are swept up in an "every man for himself" focus that has put our nation at risk of becoming a second-rate power.

I sure hope I'm wrong about that, and I might just be. The technology that continues to shower new products and really neat stuff on the marketplace is a pretty good indicator that there are plenty of smarts to go around. We just need some leadership to tie it all together and get it pointed in one direction.

Thanks for your comment!

Rocketman
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Posts: 6
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Post Re: Where is more important than how, for now.
on: February 24, 2011, 00:00
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Quote from Rivet on February 22, 2011, 11:28
I guess my next question has to be when, which generation?

Hey, first of all, thanks for visiting the forum. It was getting a bit lonely here.

To answer your question, I fear that the next American generation that will visit the Moon will be the one that witnesses another country walking on the Moon. Americans seem to be pretty good about catching up and surpassing competitors, but lousy at keeping the will and discipline to stay in a leadership role.

I for one would love to see a base on the Moon. The ISS is impressive, but will eventually return to Earth while a base on the Moon will always stay there just as the equipment such as the Moon Rovers left by Apollo have for 40 years now. Equipment on the Moon is a permanent investment that doesn't lose it's value or use, no matter how long it is between visits.

I know I sure would volunteer to be the first "lunar technician." 😎

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