Discussion What would you like to see happen by 2050 in space flight?

richfororbit

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So, what would any of us users like to see in space flight by 2050?

That can be a non personnel mission or a personnel one.

So my top of the list for personnel is the one off mission to the Moon, by America. I know it isn't very star trek...I think I'll just have to appreciate that.

Non personnel, deep understanding below the Martian surface, I guess the Europa mission, that is quite an exciting proposal so far.

I actually find it a bit difficult to think about much else sort of beyond the Moon, Mars, the odd moon of Jupiter. Hmm, may be a mission to some planet beyond pluto. I don't know about that, probably a really tough one.

I'm sure more closer targets are of interest.
 

Andy44

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Well, this is tough. I'm in my 40s. When I was a little kid I assumed that by now we'd be able to take a (expensive) trip to the moon by now. When the space shuttle was new, the future seemed wide open. With STS we'd be building massive orbital facilities by the 1990s. An outpost on the moon was certainly in the cards.

The older I get, as I follow these programs and the lack of interest and therefore funding they receive, I am ever more skeptical that manned spaceflight will amount to much more in my lifetime. If Orion actually takes people beyond LEO one more time I'll call that an accomplishment.

On the unmanned side, however, things look brighter. NASA and other space agencies have accomplished quite a bit with thin budgets. The recent Pluto flyby is one example of a spectacular success that even inspired the public like few robotic missions do. So for purely scientific missions, things look pretty good.

So what would I like to see by 2050? Well:

1. Serious interest and use of nuclear power and other advanced propulsion technology, for manned and unmanned travel. Nuclear thermal rocketry has been tested and seems feasible. While never tested together, nuclear-electric components (reactors and electric thrusters) have all been operated successfully in space.

If you want aggressive exploration of the Solar System, you need to stop being afraid to use nuclear power.

2. Aggressive exploration of Europa and/or Enceladus, using landers with all the best equipment. Even people, if possible, though that's a bit much to ask.

I can think of plenty more, but it makes me feel like wishing I still believed in Santa Claus.
 

Urwumpe

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Manned mission: Third crew on Mars.
Unmanned mission: Titan Rover or Enceladus drilling mission.
 

Artlav

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Like to see?
-Warp drive being invented, doors to the rest of the universe thrown wide open.

Expect to see?
-No more manned flights other than a few tourists, Chineese tests hither and thither and Elon Musk stranded in solar orbit
-Lots of robotic craft and probes. Once the launch cost goes down enough for DIY crowd to afford a cubesat or more, things would explode (constructively, not spontaneous disassembly) really fast.
 

TMac3000

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What I'd like to see:

At least one of the landings from "Voyage to the Planets" (just not the Venus one, please:shifty:)

First Mars crew

A manned Mercury mission (real life Iron Hill Project:))

What I'd expect to see:

First crew on Mars, IF we can get through with all this political BS going on in the world without doing away with countries altogether.

Maybe a manned Venus flyby?

Unmanned Europa or Enceladus landing
 

GLS

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Like to see?
-Warp drive being invented, doors to the rest of the universe thrown wide open.

This.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIpXYU-9CBM"]Star Trek Zefram Cochrane Warp Flight - YouTube[/ame]
 

richfororbit

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I think it is true, that personnel flight is a up and down situation. And we are likely to go to the planets in simulations like Orbiter, and see the Earth so far away, and an actual view of the Earth is from a window is just science fiction.

I was listening to Snoop Dogg's production, of Mr Aldrin's rocket experience song. "we're number one on the runway", always to be number one, the realisation that going to the planets with people is nothing serious. I like it more from 2:15 out of the 3:35. Really emphasises the disconnect within the real world.

I still think Barack was wrong to express been there and done that regarding the moon. Not like he really cared himself.

I think Aldrin knows that his vision may not take off, but as he expressed the year his book was published in 2013, he was dependent on future governments.

For anyone who watch the NASA's administrator's boring speech a few days back, repeating the line about grand children's future blah blah and the path to Mars.
 

Lmoy

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A manned Mercury mission (real life Iron Hill Project:))

I'm not familiar with "Iron Hill Project" at all. Could you explain what that is?

To answer the OP's question, what I'd like to see (besides what's already been mentioned) is dedicated Uranus and Neptune orbiters for long-term scientific study of these planets, like Cassini has done for Saturn. Additionally, I'd like to see space hotels become a thing. There's already plenty of interest in the concept, so I don't see it as being far-fetched at all. I think a lot of the lack of public interest in space is due to it being so inaccessible, but if the middle-class was given the option to go on a vacation to space for not much more than a big Earth-bound vacation would otherwise cost them, we'd see a lot more development. And finally, I'd like to see a nuclear-pulse propulsion (or otherwise speedy spacecraft) probe mission sent to a nearby star system. I most likely wouldn't live to see the scientific results, but that's irrelevant.
 

richfororbit

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The star system mission is a good one, but obviously early missions would be needed to test concept technology.

I own a copy of Centauri Dreams, that book is a mammoth of concept ideas, details about how to try and go to another star star system. Just the old shuttle stack would of taken nine centuries as it is if it were possible to send that to another star system.
 

Thunder Chicken

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Expect to see?
Elon Musk stranded in solar orbit

Elon Musk: "Hey guys, something went wrong in that second stage burn. Can you send up another rocket to help me out?"

Hawthorne CA: "Maybe. First, we'd like to talk about that pay raise..."

:lol:
 

Lmoy

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The star system mission is a good one, but obviously early missions would be needed to test concept technology.

Now I'm curious as to what a suitable test mission for a NPP drive would be. Fire it into Jupiter maybe? I can't imagine you'd want to test the engine anywhere near Earth, after all.
 

markp

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Good question. :) There's many space flight things I'd like to see ...

A moon base
Greenhouses on mars
In situ resource utilisation
Any kind of advanced propulsion
Humans on mars
Robotic exploration with balloons
A space plane
Use of aerocapture
New types atmospheric entry vehicles
 

Lmoy

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See this thread.

This was an O-F project that landed two crews on Mercury's south pole, and built one base and a couple of smaller ones. We had a pretty good time:)

Personally I'd prefer a manned Venus landing. It's the prettiest planet naturally. Must be some great photo opportunities. Plus it's closer!
 

richfororbit

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Now I'm curious as to what a suitable test mission for a NPP drive would be. Fire it into Jupiter maybe? I can't imagine you'd want to test the engine anywhere near Earth, after all.

Well, a probe would be sent to the outer planets, not anywhere near our planet. And certainly to Pluto, and just outside of that area there that would need to be a testing ground.

That New Horizons took nearly a decade to get there, so if it had gone beyond, that would be a much longer journey.
 

PhantomCruiser

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Aren't they repurposing New Horizons? As it has gone beyond Pluto.
 

jangofett287

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Permanently inhabited moon base. The start of near earth infrastructure. Non-scientific jobs in space. Still keeping my fingers crossed for a He3 boom.
 
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