Does manned spaceflight make sense anymore?

Devil505

Former Staff
Jan 2008
72,012
30,067
Florida
#1
As a space-buff since I was a kid I have changed my mind and no longer see the utility of sending humans into space any longer.

The space race was driven mainly by the cold war of the 1950's-1960's with very little attention to exploration.
The cost and the dangers may have made sense in that era but no longer do...imo.
Chemical propulsion systems can never let humans achieve the speed and duration that deep space missions would require.
Send unmanned robots into space and we can learn much more.

When/if we develop technology allowing us to ever travel close to the speed of light.....at least.....then manned spaceflight might again be worthwhile.
Until then send unmanned vehicles.

Thoughts?
 
Likes: Friday13
Mar 2012
57,898
39,450
New Hampshire
#2
Depends. Unmanned are needed to see whats there and such. But we will need manned to terraform or do research. We would need to do a lot of research before we could go to Mars so some would end up having to be manned. But just taking photos or seeing whats there or getting samples no longer need to be manned.
 
Mar 2019
8,337
2,934
California
#3
As a space-buff since I was a kid I have changed my mind and no longer see the utility of sending humans into space any longer.

The space race was driven mainly by the cold war of the 1950's-1960's with very little attention to exploration.
The cost and the dangers may have made sense in that era but no longer do...imo.
Chemical propulsion systems can never let humans achieve the speed and duration that deep space missions would require.
Send unmanned robots into space and we can learn much more.

When/if we develop technology allowing us to ever travel close to the speed of light.....at least.....then manned spaceflight might again be worthwhile.
Until then send unmanned vehicles.

Thoughts?
Yes. Good subject. To use an old saying , you have to crawl before you can walk. Keeping up the program will eventually get us to LightSpeed. Dropping it will prevent it from ever happening. I imagine harnessing Nuclear FUSION would do the trick eventually. Might take 100 years or more. But it would be worth every penny.
 

Devil505

Former Staff
Jan 2008
72,012
30,067
Florida
#4
Depends. Unmanned are needed to see whats there and such. But we will need manned to terraform or do research. We would need to do a lot of research before we could go to Mars so some would end up having to be manned. But just taking photos or seeing whats there or getting samples no longer need to be manned.
Why would terraforming need to be a manned mission?
Adding man to any mission...including combat missions imposes huge costs and risks that need not be taken anymore.
I think the day of manned combat aircraft is almost over. (human's are not built to withstand the forces that modern combat aircraft impose on our bodies)

Plus....computers are much better pilots than men are.
 
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Likes: Friday13
Jul 2013
56,923
62,400
Nashville, TN
#6
Current technology is unable to support manned space flight in anything but a minuscule form. There is no way to get a robust expedition to Mars or the outer planets with our current chemical fueled rockets. Unless we have a technological breakthrough that allows much more massive payloads and much faster travel times, stick with robots, it does not matter if they take 5 years to get to Jupiter.
 
Jul 2013
56,923
62,400
Nashville, TN
#7
Why would terraforming need to be a manned mission?
Adding man to any mission...including combat missions imposes huge costs and risks that need not be taken anymore.
I think the day of manned combat aircraft is almost over. (human's are not built to withstand the forces that modern combat aircraft impose on our bodies)

Computers are much better pilots than men are.
And even then, humans can pilot them from right here on the ground as drones.
 
Likes: Devil505
Jul 2013
56,923
62,400
Nashville, TN
#9
The Alcubierre drive or Alcubierre warp drive (or Alcubierre metric, referring to metric tensor) is a speculative idea based on a solution of Einstein's field equations in general relativity as proposed by Mexican theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre, by which a spacecraft could achieve apparent faster-than-light travel if a configurable energy-density field lower than that of vacuum (that is, negative mass) could be created.

Rather than exceeding the speed of light within a local reference frame, a spacecraft would traverse distances by contracting space in front of it and expanding space behind it, resulting in effective faster-than-light travel. Objects cannot accelerate to the speed of light within normal spacetime; instead, the Alcubierre drive shifts space around an object so that the object would arrive at its destination faster than light would in normal space without breaking any physical laws.[1]
Alcubierre drive - Wikipedia
 
Likes: Friday13

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