[FPSPACE] Griffin's true reasons for the sizing of the Ares 5

E.P. Grondine epgrondine at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 28 15:42:04 EDT 2009

Hi Mike - 

> Why is it infuriating to you?  That suggests you believe > that there is One True Way - and anyone who thinks 
> otherwise is a Heretic.
> I LIKE to see different people pushing different 
> solutions.  People having different causes.  The fact 
> that there are people working hard on "X"  frees me to > focus on working on "Y".  And we advance along many > fronts. But to suggest that others are wasting their 
> time because they're not working on YOUR priority is 
> misguided at best.

Okay on multiple solutions and goals, but NASA $'s are limited. And their $ for impactor detection are close to nil.

"Lifeboat Mars" as espoused by Griffin and other manned Mars enthusiasts is no solution to the impact hazard. 

But it is not simply the misallocation of tax dollars by NASA, it is their willingness to suppress (and that is suppress, not simply "not fund") research on the extent of the impact hazard that is another infuriating aspect in all of this. 

If you are researching the impact of comets and their fragments not only will your work not get funded, the work of those "reviewing" your results will. Examine NASA's response to Firestone, Kennett, et al's work. Examine NASA suppressing those following up Clube and Napier's work on cometary impact.

In other more simple and inflammatory words, its NASA management using the taxpayers money to lie to them about a threat to their lives and well being. By at least 1  order of magnitude.

That's one of the reasons why I am awaiting the IG's report on Griffin's failure to comply with the George Brown Jr. amendment. 

And that's one of the reasons why those USGS cores from the Carolinas are so important.

As far as "one true way" goes, the impact hazard from small comet fragments appears severe enough to justify building CAPS on the Moon. I have yet to see any free space based system that comes close to providing  adequate performance, not that NASA is looking at building one anyhow. (So much for different solutions.)

These things don't reflect much light: they're as black as charcoal.

 > Add to this the fact that "defense in depth" is really a > good idea.  You claim that "one is heading our way".  
> Which is true.  

Yes, by 2022.

>And if you keep projecting forward, so is another.  And another.  


>And at some point,  there'll be one that's really really 
> big - bigger than we can handle.


Nothing so big that it can not be handled with current technologies, and this falsehood joins "Lifeboat Mars" in the manned Mars flight enthusiasts' chain of rationalizations.

Now you can trot out some NASA "experts" who will state otherwise, but their calculations will not bear close scrutiny.

Remember that all that is needed is destruction of the impactor, or its diversion by one Earth diameter.

> Or maybe we're mistaken about what we CAN handle, 
> and out mitigation  attempts fail.  In that case, having > an emergency backup population on the 
> moon, or Mars, or scattered throughout the solar 
> system, suddenly becomes a Really Good Thing, if 
> species survival is your goal.

My goal is a little more immediate, saving say 60,000,000 peoples' lives. In the recent past, impact tsunami have been occurring at a rate of 1 per 1,000 years roughly.
You can do the math.

I don't know if the recent impact history was a one off, or whether it represents what the near future will hold for us. Judging from Encke, SL9, SW3, ...

> There is no One True Way.  It's fine to evangelize your > passions - but not  at the expense of those of others.

Once again, the $ are limited, and the trade off in lives is clear to me.

The problem is NASA's lack of funding for detection. 

$0.00 just doesn't make it. Provide the $, and I'll shut to hell up.

E.P. Grondine
Man and Impact in the Americas

(PS - Thanks David for your comments)

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