NASA's 'meatball' logo.

Your Chance to Weigh in on NASA’s Future Destinations

Article Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

by

Where do you think NASA’s next destination should be in space? Asteroid? The Moon? Mars? The Planetary Society is hosting an interactive Ustream chat where you can put in your 2 cents.

“Tell us where you want to go in space!” said Bill Nye (the Science Guy) who will soon become the Planetary Society’s new executive director. Nye and Louis Friedman, the Society’s current executive director, will host the live chat – titled “The New NASA Plan – Destinations” — on Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 2:00 pm U.S. Pacific Time (5:00 pm EDT, 21:00 GMT).
“We want a lively debate!” said Friedman, who urges anyone to join the discussion.

The Planetary Society has been actively encouraging discussion of the new plan proposed for NASA, a plan that would entail a major shift in NASA’s human spaceflight program. The Society leadership feels that it is vital that public interest be represented in discussing issues that will change the course of the US space program for decades to come.

The new NASA plan for human spaceflight focuses on technologies and milestones that will advance human space flight out of Earth orbit and into the solar system. Mars may be the ultimate goal, but the path for humans to set foot on the Red Planet is flexible, to be determined step-by-step.

The Planetary Society plans to continue to hold webcasts on topics such as the deep space rocket, use of commercial launch vehicles, and robotic precursor missions.

Those wishing to participate in the Ustream chat room or to ask questions will need to set up a free account with Ustream prior to the start of the event. The New NASA Plan — Destinations will also be archived on Ustream for later viewing.

, ,



Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
William928
Member
William928
July 13, 2010 3:17 PM

Titan, Enceladus and Europa utilizing robotic landers. I realize the expense involved, but a guy can dream!

Craigboy
Member
Craigboy
July 13, 2010 3:27 PM

What about making a single manned lunar lander that would serve as a basis for a much larger Martian one (this way we can at least have a “return” mission to the moon)?

Sili
Member
Sili
July 13, 2010 5:08 PM

Uranus and Neptune orbiters.

ioresult
Member
July 13, 2010 6:00 PM

I agree with Sili. Uranus and Neptune. Every other planet has had its orbiter (Mercury is about to have its own orbiter too).
So go Uranus and Neptune! I’d go for Neptune first if we had to make a choice, because, hey: Triton, man!

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
July 13, 2010 7:38 PM

Since we are talking manned missions here, and Lagrange points are both dull and can be surveyed robotically, I would go for an NEO.

And that is pretty much what we can do with current technology, unless we want to pay for the Moon again. Until new technology or a better LEO market emerges (say, tourism), a couple of those types of missions would sit well.

Uncle Fred
Member
Uncle Fred
July 13, 2010 10:31 PM
1. Let the commercial industry take over the glorified space bus the shuttle turned out to be. Maybe if space tourism is popular, there might even be a lunar base to visit some day! 2. Lets make new manned goals (if the money is there). Mars sounds good. However, if not, forget Manned missions altogether, and go for the bang-for-buck robotic science. 3. Lets get orbiters for Uranus and Neptune. We need to augment them with HDTV cameras so the average Joe (like me!) can enjoy what sights there are to offer. 4. Also lets get to some of those interesting outer-planet moons and put rovers where the action is (again with HD cameras!) 5. Lets get more… Read more »
Uncle Fred
Member
Uncle Fred
July 13, 2010 10:59 PM
Another thought, Maybe I feel NASA is only trying to relieve past glories, but a new lunar mission doesn’t excite me in the least bit. Asteroids and NEO orbits also seem very pointless and dull. For the first I imagine a drill and the word “industry” for the latter, I imagine the company Hilton and the word “commercial.” If neither of these options sound all that attractive, where should NASA boldy go? The first thing that might pop into my mind is Mars. Yet Is Mars really all that interesting? Lets face it, Mars is a desert. Sure there is the argument that scienctific knowledge and resource extraction are both reasons for going to Mars. However, These manned… Read more »
Paul Eaton-Jones
Member
July 14, 2010 12:06 AM

While I ultimately want a permanent human presence on the moon have to I agree with Torbjorn. NEO for a manned mission. The scientific and commercial benefits are likely to be very impressive. A series of ultra modern, ultra quick robotic missions should head out to Neptune and Uranus and the Kuiper Belt.

damian
Member
July 14, 2010 2:26 AM
More Cassini Like missions. Lets map the Solar system, and really, we need to put satellites into stable orbits around each major planet and moon. Do the kind of high resolution mapping that we are doing on Luna and Mars now. The fact is that we know very little about whats out there. Just small tantalizing glimpses. But we also need to be able to get there quicker, and if they are to be in stable orbits they will need to spend a lot of energy decelerating. So Propulsion systems of a magnitude way above our present capabilities are fundamental. The second direction I would personally love to see, is habitat building. And by that I wish to… Read more »
Aodhhan
Member
Aodhhan
July 14, 2010 3:27 AM

I think it was proven during the whole Colbert period. NASA isn’t really interested in what we think.
…and then, it only takes a badly informed President to really screw things up in Houston.

I think I’ll head back to the Cassini web site and hope the same individuals who made this decision win out for the future.

Spoodle58
Member
July 14, 2010 8:24 AM
Here is what should happen. Two New Agencies One dealing with manned space flight. The other with robotic missions. They each receive equal funding, about 1% of the US annual budget EACH, take it from military budget. The manned space flight agency should set itself the goal of landing a people on Mars by 2020, secondary goals such as NEO landing, moon bases, Venus flybys, an outer system mission. The robotic missions agency should set itself similar huge goals, Lander and atmospheric craft for all the planets and many of the asteroids. Communication craft for all planets, mini nuke power plants as well as RTGs. An interstellar mission. A multitude of telescopes and earth science missions, public access… Read more »
Dooby Dooby Do
Member
Dooby Dooby Do
July 14, 2010 8:38 AM

1. Orbiters around Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto

2. A space probe floating in Jupiter’s atmosphere.

wjwbudro
Member
wjwbudro
July 14, 2010 12:02 PM

Land a lightweight inflatable packed with science gear on one of Titan’s deeper and wetter methane lakes. No involved wheels, drive train, suspension etc. No heavy lift launch vehicle required.

wjwbudro
Member
wjwbudro
July 14, 2010 12:07 PM

Well, LTA’s (A = atmosphere in this case) are being considered for mars. Okay, I’m leaving.

Aqua4U
Member
July 14, 2010 8:48 PM

I think we should go back to the Moon… set up a base using robotics and telepresence control. Explore for water and take a look at the newly found volcanic tubes as possible habitat locations. The water ice can be electrolyzed into breathable air and fuel for Mars and NEO object missions. One step at a time… even if they are only baby steps.

Black WiD/Oe H/Oe
Member
July 14, 2010 9:54 PM
THE [email protected] Nye – Mr. Science Guy!!! You already know what path NASA should take…. Let’s get to the Moon so we can finish what we started and explore what we’ve discovered there in the past decade. We’ve learned more about the Moon in the past ten years than we did in the ALL the Apollo landings (arguably)… There is a ton of new opportunities available for science and future exploration – like practice getting to Mars!!!! We really need to brush up on our TRUE space travel skills, I think we have the zero “g” floating around the planet thing down pretty good. 40 years is a boat load of time between actual travel in Space, not… Read more »
Paul Eaton-Jones
Member
July 16, 2010 4:51 AM

To Spoodle58. Those dreams will happen one day never fear but unfortunately not in our lifetimes. Twin agencies is a very good idea and they may even get a couple of the ideas up and running – planetary/asteroid landers, multiple telscopes perhaps – but not many of the manned projects which is a shame. We should think big even if we only achieve small because if we don’t raise our sights we’ll get nowhere.

Aqua4U
Member
July 16, 2010 11:22 AM
@Paul Eaton-Jones – “Those dreams will happen one day never fear but unfortunately not in our lifetimes.” Am not so sure about this statement because.. if we were to find a way to use He3 for controlled fusion and find quantities of it on the moon. If we were to find volcanic tubes suitable for habitation on Luna and Mars. If we were to find evidence of useful elements in the lunar soils beyond He3 and H20 and the vast amounts of Titanium, then? If we were to confirm evidence of biological activity on Mars. If we were to find a way to create ultra energetic plasma’s suitable for rocket propulsion (See He3), perhaps as a result of… Read more »
Aqua4U
Member
July 16, 2010 11:25 AM

Addendum – What an exciting time to be alive! So much in the way of promise and possibilities for humanity! That is, if some Butt Nugget doesn’t ‘pull the trigger’…

Black WiD/Oe H/Oe
Member
July 17, 2010 9:36 PM
That is sooo true! (can’t waste time worrying about all the “Butt Nuggets out there) If there were an economical reason to mine the Moon for anything, like H3, we would be landing on it in a year. Growing up I thought “WOW we are on the Moon, we will be on Mars in 20 years for SURE!!” Now I will be happy to achieve anything and everything we can about our Solar System and Space, manned or not. It is the greatest time to be a Space and Science fanatic, but we have lost a lot of major milestones due to duplication and politics by not clarifying a real goal – like the Apollo program did. If… Read more »
wpDiscuz