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« A Great Idea Whose Time Has...? | Main | The Trip of a Lifetime »

Monday, 14 March 2005


James Shields

That makes no sense. The JIMO was to be the proof of concept for nuclear propulsion. I would think this is a vital stepping block for a manned Mars mission.


I don't think it's as bad as you feel -- another manned moon landing by 2020 is perfectly viable, even more so if JIMO is on the back burner.

Public-friendly successes are needed sooner rather than later, and it may also mean that the CEV stays on timetable, which is more likely if things are focused on manned-moon than on unmanned-Jupiter.

Manned-Jupiter by 2030 wouldn't need nanotech as much as divine intervention!

Sure, it would be nice if everything worked out as it should, but I'd be impressed by a 2030 manned-mars.

Pretty much the only thing likely to significantly shift space exploration in the next 40 years is a China-India space race, which is quite credible, and which the US at least (possibly Europe aswell, depending on a pile of obvious stuff) would almost certainly respond to.



JIMO would be seriously cool and SIMO even cooler. Of course, it would be cool to to return to the Moon, it's going to very expensive and marginal to do so. We don't have a heavy lift vehicle much less a resuseable heavy lift vehicle, nor, to the best of knowledge, plans for one, which means that a return to the Moon will require multiple launches of a Proton-class launcher. A Mars mission just doesn't even come into the equation with current hardware. OK, there might be water at the lunar ice cap. But the idea that it's going to be easy or cheap to start up hydrogen and oxygen production on the Moon is ludicrous (see Dave's recent postings on for more on the Razor's official line on these matters:

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