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"manned space flight" becomes an oxymoron [Feb. 3rd, 2010|09:09 pm]
The Interrociter
I have mixed feelings about the proposed NASA budget that effectively removes manned space flight from the agency's agenda, but that also would boost NASA scientific programs tremendously.  Logically, it makes great sense, but the old science fiction fan in me can't help but mourn over the increasingly high probability that I won't live long enough to see a manned expedition to Mars.  It remains to be seen whether private enterprise or another country, China being the most likely one, will eventually have the means or incentives to ever send people beyond Earth orbit.  Pretty good opinion piece on this here -- http://bit.ly/bnKx9J -- by Steven Weinberg, someone whose opinion I respect a lot.

[User Picture]From: treddytrafalgar
2010-02-05 02:45 am (UTC)

"The Stars Are Not For Man" - Maybe

I wonder if there will ever be a 'manned' mission to Mars at all. It wouldn't surprise me if the crews of the Apollo missions turn out to be the only homo sapiens ever to leave LEO. Maybe expansion into the universe will be left to our genetically engineered successor species, or to the AIs that replace us. Or maybe no one will ever bother - why would physical exploration matter to an AI, anyway?
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[User Picture]From: interrociter
2010-02-16 05:02 am (UTC)

Re: "The Stars Are Not For Man" - Maybe

It's pretty much a given that crewed interstellar missions will probably never be on the table for humans. Maybe for robots or AIs. I'm not as willing to give up on the idea of human interplanetary missions, but I do have to wonder exactly what kind of organization could do and would want to do it. At this point it's more a question of motives and motivation than money and technology. Maybe the Planetary Society will stage a coup d'etat in a sufficiently rich country.... Until then, though, there just doesn't appear to be enough desire on a national or global scale to make it happen.
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