Talk:ISS into the Pacific
The great successes of the ISS, and there were many, were mostly about international politics and the dissolution of the USSR. We need to do a very large and public analysis of the contribution and weakness of the ISS program to generate the critical lessons learned we need for a large back to the Moon program.
Only after such a study is made, should we decide the fate of the ISS.
The ISS also shows us how a bad name can kill a program.
--Jriley 04:37, 10 March 2007 (PST)
This article yields no information about the moon, and from a technical standpoint, its assertion that the ISS is in the wrong orbit for access to the moon is just plain silly. It appears to be motivated by purely political intent, which again means it has no place in the Lunarpedia unless you want to open a section on Idiotic Political Smoke Screens.
Recommend deleting it.
- The purpose of this article, and a number of simular entries, was to start a discussion to provide incite into what gets people hot about space. This approach is detailed in Show Stoppers and the Purposes List.
- Had a technical person wished to defend the ISS, then they could provide technical information on the use of the ISS as a safety station on the way to the Moon and exactly what this would mean to launch windows. No such defender has come forth.
- So far the input on nearly all of these articles has been extremely low. All these articles have demonstrated so far is how increasable low interest is in returning to the Moon and how much work we have ahead of us.
- This type of article belongs on Lunarpedia if, and only if, one of Lunarpedia's purposes is to make returning to the Moon happen. That is to be an active tool.
- --Jriley 22:15, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
- It may be too early in Lunarpedia's development for the controversial question concept to take off. Most of our contributors are too busy trying to create new content to make Lunarpedia a major attraction to stop and think of such subtleties at this time. As it stands, Mike and I don't even really have time to even write many articles, as we're too busy with top level maintenance and administrative stuff -- and that was bad enough before the wiki project got multiplied by a factor of five... -- Strangelv 22:46, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
- It could be helpful to create a tag template for your controversial question series to clarify the purpose of them so that people aren't looking at them hoping to get something from them that they aren't meant to provide. -- Strangelv 22:52, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
- 1 Broken Promises
- 2 The Need for References
The ISS has failed to provide the promised medical and pharmacuetical advances that were used to sell the space station plan to congress.
That has a lot to do with designing so much of the station so it could only be launched by the Shuttle. Between the groundings caused by fuel line fractures and the extended grounding of the fleet after the loss of Columbia and then the very careful and conservative return to service, the ISS construction program is now close to 7 years behind schedule and still slipping. Add to this that in its' present configuration it takes the entire crew of 3 just to run the station, there is little or no science done.
But they do still find time to run the Boston marathon.
-- Mdelaney 06:09, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
- I genuinely hope that this will change once the crew is expanded. Letting such a large investment go to waste doesn't seem logical to me. The boston marathon stunt does provide the opportunity to get physiological measurements on a female who has been in microgravity long enough to begin experiencing muscle/bone loss. It's too good of a data gathering opportunity to pass up. -- Jarogers2001 01:44, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
Jriley makes sense. I was opposed to building the space station as planned because it is permanently manned before the proper infrastructure is in place to make reasonable use of people. I would have gone with a remotely operated lunar base instead of the space station and shed no tears over the loss of expertise in the manned space program as employees drifted away. They could have archived as much of the details of how they do their jobs as possible, and then gone on to do something usefull. It would take a long time to restart a manned program when it is finally needed, but the need is a long time away. What we have is a show space program. Some people would be better impressed if we were efficiently doing something to further humanity's future in space. We can learn things like how to avoid the bearing problem that threatens the space station's solar arrays. We may need to keep the space station for a while to satisfy international agreements. We may be able to convince other nations that keeping space station agreements is just too expensive, and we can make up the debt some other way. Then we might be able to convert the space station to all robotic operation and lower costs. I am not sure we can lower costs but we should look into it. --Farred 15:27, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Political Difficulties in National Funding
Mdelaney wrote that medical and pharmaceutical advances were promised to sell the space station to congress. Its more complicated than that. Congressmen were generally not fooled by the probability that such advances and others would occur. They needed a story to tell constituents to explain the reason for their votes. The second layer of persuasion was political support from people whose employment would cease if the space station failed, and people in communities where employment would be lost if the space station failed. These were highly motivated supporters of a program that they saw as having "lunch" written all over it. There were true believers too. The harm they have done by saddling the U.S. with a manned space program that is mainly a welfare program for a dependent constituency is worse then the mere cost of the program. The argument comes up (I won't say from whom) that as long as we are going to have astronauts up there anyway lets save a particular task for them. So, efficient methods of doing things like robotic servicing of satelites are never given a serious effort, no matter if plenty of money were available. It is not the space station so much as the whole manned space program that is the enemy. It just keeps sailing on with no destination like the Flying Dutchman, just as much a curse to those who do know where they are headed. Some say that the devision between manned and robotic space programs is a competition wrongly foisted upon space enthusiasts by congress which lumps their funding together, and that we should support both programs. But I say that the average congressman does not know beans about our future in space and cares less. Our message should be that the main effect of the current manned space program on our future in space is to detract from it. This is so much the case that having to coexist with a manned space program is likely to kill any serious attempt to develop industry using the raw materials of Luna, if it has not already done so. That is just for the United States though. Other nations are poised to make attempts at Luna, and they might not copy our mistakes. --Farred 00:32, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
- I am not opposed to manned spaceflight, but I am opposed to the promotion of an environment where it would be the sole domain of governments. Instead of seeking to eliminate the manned program we should take an industry building approach in the same way that NACA did for atmospheric flight. There are many things that can be done by robots, but a robot is never a substitute for a human in tasks that aren't redundant processes (such as maintaining robots in the field). Instead of seeking to eliminate a manned program we should instead foster the development of private replacements which can carry people for much less than NASA, allowing more funding to be freed up in the long run for the support of a lunar base. I am of the opinion that the ISS should remain in place until a suitable private LEO destination is in place for private flights. Today we have reached a technological nexus where this is finally possible. Google search for Bigelow Aerospace. -- Jarogers2001 00:24, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
problems with a manned spaceflight bureaucracy
I am not opposed to manned spaceflight. I am opposed to the farce that constitutes the current U. S. manned space program. I did write "robotic servicing of satellites [is] never given a serious effort" but I should have written remote control servicing. I do not propose that an artificially intelligent robot perform maintenance on satellites. I propose that technicians perform this maintenance by remote controlled devices while the technicians remain comfortably on Earth. This method properly developed would likely be more convenient for any particular task than working in a space suit and allow shifts of technicians to stay on the job for much less than the expense of having them in space in person. The space station we have now is a special case. Every thing there was designed to maximize its convenience to human operation on site. In an ideal world the space station would have been designed to maximize convenience for remote operation. However even using the robonaut and others of similar make, it might be cheaper to run the space station remotely than to keep men there in person. I do not think employees of the manned space program have the intention of doing harm, but just look at the program's record. First the Apollo program sent astronauts to Luna. That was the first and last worthwhile thing it did. It made more sense then to send men to Luna. Remote control was not as highly developed then. When the decision was made to have a human pilot for the space shuttle, that was a big mistake. This wasn't done because of lack of ability to land a shuttle by remote control, even the Russians landed their version of a shuttle by remote control. Robotic autolanding can be done today and I guess that it could have been done when the first shuttle was built. Flying a space ship is naturally a computer's job, but the shuttle's designers built a man into their design because they wanted to give astronauts something to do that had prestige. Then the space station was a make work program for astronauts from the word go. Astronauts being there was always the primary consideration. Actually accomplishing something on the space station was something to be considered when the program got around to it. The only thing that couldn't be done more cheaply remotely on a space station is testing human endurance of weightlessness. The results of the test are only applicable to working on a space station or flying to Mars, two expensive things that are not at all urgent. If lunar industry is developed first, respectable size spaceships could be built to take people to Mars in comfort. The Hubble Space Telescope is grand, but for the cost of each servicing mission there could have been a whole new telescope in orbit. A remote controlled space station would not have been hung up with all of the life support problems. It could have been developed to assemble a multi mirror telescope better than the Hubble. I have read the words "permanently manned base" referring to Luna, and it just makes me sick. It does not seem at all likely that the current manned space program is in the mood to let remote controlled devices develop local resources until most of the mass needed to support people can be gotten from Luna. That would almost make it seem as if people were not needed. The manned space program wouldn't tolerate that. It is bound and determined to ruin the moon base like it ruined the space station and the shuttle, and for the same reason. It insists on making every other consideration secondary to having a man on site. For the U. S. manned space program a few men would not go to the moon for a purpose. A few men on the moon would be the purpose. They turn everything into a show. I set my sights higher. A civilization in space is my purpose.
I might as well sign this stuff. I can sumerize everything with four words. Industrial Infrastructure in Space. Humanity can establish itself as a space faring civilization if it chooses. However "buy in" is as old as the hills. People lost considerable sums of money on typewriter schemes before someone came up with a typewriter that was good enough. Hucksters continued to make money on rain making schemes long after people had had enough time to learn about them because another sucker is born every minute. Don't fall for any modern equivalent of a rain making scheme. --Farred 10:58, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
There are some worthwhile things associated with the manned program. The sponsoring of research such as fuel cell research was good. I oppose the program as a hole.--FARTHERRED 3:01PM Central Daylight Time
The Start of Political Problems
Although the Apollo program accomplished much of great value, as much as could have been expected, it also had a detrimental legacy. As Apollo was a showpiece of U.S. technical competancy, so the later manned space program carried on this tradition. Commitments were made to bring competant people into the Apollo program. Their bosses, the president and congress, did not want to say, "Thanks. We are finished with your services now. Go look for some other position." Politically powerful interests seemed to believe, without any technical justification, that having a man in space was central to further progress toward a future in which travel to Luna and Mars was part of ordinary economic life. In any case a hiatus in the launching of men into space was seen as a step backward in technical ability. So the continued launching of men into space was ordered as a way to show technical competency. For the last twenty years the U.S. has had the ability to begin development of the infrastructure that would support human economic use of lunar materials. This process is necessarily slow, and there is nothing that people in space suits on Luna could do during the early part of this development that would be worth the cost of supporting them there. The actual technical development has been neglected in favor of the show of technical development. The expected result of continuing this line of effort is that the manned space program would remain an appropriations farming operation run by people content to work in an appropriations farming operation. It would not contribute except accidentally to any economic use of lunar materials. I see no reason to believe that any such accidental development would ever occur. If those who claim to seek economic space settlements allow themselves to become part of the government show program, they are not serving their professed goal. Corporations that want to sell big boosters to such efforts will subject their corporate efforts to feast of famine at the whim of political expediency. One year congress will support big manned space efforts. The next year the large line items will tempt cuts in manned space programs. I would not invest in such a company. --Farred 02:09, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
For Full Honesty
I must admit that there is a function that humans on Luna could perform better than machines if it was at all reasonable to support humans on site. That is conflict. Naturally a response time of 0.37 seconds would be superior to a response time of 3 seconds for many applications in war, but in covert conflict with those whom you are openly applauding and helping, a quick response time is even more important. The space station is a reasonable training ground in case covert agents are needes on Luna. There are many reasons for avoiding covert conflict. Its messy. Its wasteful. Its embarrassing when it is found out. Let us just admit that there are serious differences of opinion between various governments, and no one country will always get its way. When there is a need for people on Luna, let us be open and honest about our concerns. Let us leave covert operations back on Earth for as long as possible. Of course you can trust fully what I write. I am being completely open and honest, except of course for my name. --Farred 00:24, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
- You have yet to demonstrate an existing technical capability for robots, tele-operated or not, to use a variety of standardized, and especially improvised, tools to repair other robots. This would require a detailed plan for using lunar resources to manufacture replacement parts and then install a part into a unit in the field, as well as designing those robots to be field reparable. There is also the issue of dust fouling your equipment whenever a sensitive area is opened, which will result in an increase in equipment breakdowns and the need for regular strip downs and maintenance in a dust free environment. The repair bot idea has been bandied around for years and we still haven't pulled it off in ANY sector. It is perpetually "right around the corner" along with flying cars and other futuristic technologies that have yet to appear. Until that capability is proven your entire point is moot in reference to the lunar surface. I really really like the idea, but without any supporting evidence or technical research it's going to seem like you are blowing smoke. - Jarogers2001 02:15, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Robot Repairs Robot
I am uncertain which of my statements you consider doubtful. If you think that people might not be able to service satellites with remote controlled devices, I say certainly no one can do so now. People can do remote control surgery,  but remote control satellite servicing is impossible because no one has done the development work. There is reason for no one developing remote control servicing of lawn mowers. It would be physically possible to develop a pair of remote controlled manipulators that a couple of guys at consoles could send out to a customers pick up truck. They could grab the lawn mower, carry it into the shop, take the thing apart completely, fix what needs fixing, shine up the mower, and present the customer with a bill for $1,763,487.95. For some reason lawn mower repair shops prefer to hire human mechanics. For servicing satellites the repairman can not go around the corner for a greasyburger and soft drink at lunch time. So it’s hard to get repairmen to show on location for satellite servicing, but NASA managed to get a few to take on the work. If someone did develop remote satellite servicing, it would need to include remote control rendezvous and docking besides having the satellite designed to be serviced. On Luna robot servicing of robot would be restricted to those things designed to be serviced. Swapping out replaceable bearings might be included in the set. I certainly think such repairs would be done in a lighted, thermally controlled, dust controlled enclosure.
The remote control servicing of satellites might not be ready to make money. It would have cost less to design the Hubble to be serviced by remote control and design, build and launch the devices to do that than it cost to build the Hubble that was built and service it with the Shuttle. I do not need references for that. If you have insufficient knowledge to realize that is true, just take my word for it, or don't. --Farred 19:01, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
- I do not disagree, but there will be others who will unless you explain your viewpoint using reason, references and example. "If you have insufficient knowledge to realize that is true, just take my word for it, or don't." I recommend that you handle your statements more diplomatically in the future if you wish to make your point in a convincing manner. Supposition, conjecture, sincerity, and argumentum ad populum are insufficient for producing a viable rebuttal in any credible scientific or technological forum. - Jarogers2001 06:17, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Things Fall Apart
The entire lunar enterprise might fail from a cause of which I am ignorant. That is a vast area of potential problems. The thing to do is be flexible in facing new problems as they present themselves, and have a good exit strategy. So, if after sending a few rovers to Luna, nothing is working out as hoped, rejoice in all of the scientific data and the glory of having done that much and move on to other things. --FARTHERRED 6:00 pm Central Daylight Time
The Need for References
References are helpful for many things, but I do not really need them to show the superiority of remote control devices to astronauts in person as means to get things done on a space station. What references to cost data could show would be a complicated accounting system designed more to hide costs than reveal them. Beyond the reference I made to remote control surgery, things that are common knowledge are sufficient to show that the astronauts on the space station add to the expense of what they do. For work in the vacuum of outer space special tools and lubricants are needed. That is true whether the tools are wielded by astronauts or remote controlled manipulators. The difference is that astronauts need constant life support and three square meals a day. Remote control devices are happy to have some electricity, a reasonable operating temperature, and some lubrication now and then. Either by swapping out bearings or finding some way to lubricate them in space remote control devices should last a dozen years or more in space. The electronics on the voyager spacecraft lasted more than 30 years, and were still going the last time I checked. Twelve years of consumables to support astronauts plus crew change amounts to quite a few pounds launched into space that would not be required for remote control devices. If remote control devices are not as swift for some tasks, they can stay at them for much longer for the same money. New models of devices can be designed to overcome the shortcomings of old models. The task of repairing a remote control manipulator by remote control to the extent of swapping out bearings does not seem more difficult than remote control surgery. If NASA can not do it, the reason is that they do not see that as their mission. It is NASA's political bosses that want astronauts on the space station. I want people in space too, but I can see how the development of industry on Luna could lead to a situation in which a couple of mechanics on Luna could go around the corner for a greasyburger and a soft drink and you would have nearly the same situation that makes remote control devices to repair motors on Earth uneconomic. However, until there is a reasonable amount of industrial infrastructure, astronauts in space suits will not be the most economic way to get industrial infrastructure.
- I really do not see how references can improve that much, but I will give a few.
- There has been work with low volatility liquid lubricants for bearings in space. Promising substances are found among the silahydrocarbons.
- The need for dry film lubricant and special tools for use in vacuum are among the problems faced by astronauts in space. 
- Molybdenum disulfide is among the substances that made an early contribution to lubrication problems in space. Research is ongoing. 
Do People Care?
- If no one writes any substantive disagreement with anything I have written, does it mean that no one disagrees or that I have scared off readers with boredom? If there are good arguments, can they be reworked into a really slick glad-hander special of political persuasion? The lunar development concept might be able to survive keeping the space station in the space program for a while, but if men are sent to Luna in a mere remake of the Apollo program, people will see that as representing what the outer space effort is. After seeing that nothing comes of it, they will not want to pay for anything like that for a long time.
Capability of Robots
- The distinction between robots and remote manipulators is important. Whenever the use of robots is suggested there is likely to be the argument against it that the robot can not substitute for the intelligence of a human. With remote manipulators one does not substitute for the intelligence of a human, one moves the intelligence to the work by radio through the remote manipulator. This has drawbacks. Working with a pair of gloves is something most of us have experienced. The clumsiness of gloves in an inconvenience. Working with remote manipulators is worse than an inconvenience. Work can take 30 to 100 times as long as doing the job with bare hands.  Even with the avoidance of human life support in space and crew change, can remote manipulators really be more economic? They are helped out by the possibility of one device combining remote manipulator and robot functions. A computer can follow the actions directed by the human operator and learn some tasks that are repetitive. In satellite servicing well marked points can be painted on the satellite for a computer to orient to. When operations get to Luna, tasks had better have a high proportion of dull repetition, or the whole notion of for profit operations will simply not apply.
- daVinci Surgical System http://www.intuitivesurgical.com/products/davinci_surgicalsystem/index.aspx
- McGraw-Hill ENCYCLOPEDIA OF Science & Technology (c) 1997, article on "Remote manipulators, Strengths and weaknesses"