Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 398
# 11
06-30-2013, 02:30 PM
Also, I'm pretty sure aliens saw how fast we were moving and decided we weren't culturally ready for the space community, so they secretly came to Earth and ordered all the world leaders to slow down.
Captain
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 567
# 12
06-30-2013, 02:35 PM
You know, after watching Gundam again, I found it depressing that it's far more likely Gundam is going to occur then Star trek. Why? Because we are far more likely investing into killing machine instead of exploration machine

Considering that consider this: Dapra had made some really good legged robots/exoskelton, and they got the funding. Meanwhile NASA's funding was cut back.
Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 398
# 13
06-30-2013, 02:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jestersage View Post
You know, after watching Gundam again, I found it depressing that it's far more likely Gundam is going to occur then Star trek. Why? Because we are far more likely investing into killing machine instead of exploration machine

Considering that consider this: Dapra had made some really good legged robots/exoskelton, and they got the funding. Meanwhile NASA's funding was cut back.
Honestly, I think the most prophetic movie in regards to the future is the first Alien.

It's a world where corporations run everything, everything is about profits and shares, and the big corporations are indistinguishable from government agencies.

Sounds pretty accurate to me.
Captain
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,890
# 14
06-30-2013, 09:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by squishkin View Post
We realized that landing people on the moon didn't actually explore anything useful?
I was born and grew up in the Apollo era. My first memory is of being put in front of a TV to watch Neil Armstrong step on the moon. I do think there were some lessons learned by stepping on the moon, beyond just a Cold War statement, but I'd like to point out what clear benefits there were at home.

Technology took a huge leap at home, thanks to developments needed for the Apollo program. Things we take for granted now, were cutting edge in 1970, or were significantly advanced by the program:

  • Computing technology
  • quartz clocks
  • digital watches
  • robotics
  • aeronautics
  • transportation
  • alternative energies
    --methane fuel advancements
    --solar paneling advancements
  • health care
    -- better dialysis techniques and equipment
    -- precisely metered medication
    -- better heart monitors
  • cordless tools
  • textiles
    -- for firefighter safety
    -- for HazMat safety
    -- for more durable shoes
    -- for stronger, lighter building construction

And this is just a small list. I myself remember ogling the glass cases at my dad's store that displayed the first digital watches and the ball-point pens that would write upside down, something that was truly amazing at the time when fountain pens were still a significant presence in the market.

As I was writing this, I remembered several and looked up a few others. NASA has a page with a few more highlights here.

I'm sure arguments will continue for decades as to whether we explored "anything useful" moon-side, but the truth is, putting Apollo 11 on the moon helped us explore a world of beneficial technology planet-side. Another whole-hearted effort to reach the moon or even Mars will likely have another boom in benefits to mankind.

I'd also like to note that, although it was not the moon, the Apollo-Soyuz mission, an outgrowth of the moon missions, was the first time as a kid of the Cold War that I got the feeling we opposing sides might just find a way to get along and not blow everyone up. Today we work cooperatively on a space station. I'd consider that effort hugely useful.
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 801
# 15
06-30-2013, 09:30 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by starkaos View Post
The simple fact is that lots of us on these forums would jump at the chance to go to the moon. We want to travel to distant star systems, walk on strange worlds, witness amazing stellar phenomena up close, and maybe score with hot alien babes. A moon colony is the first step for this amazing journey to happen. Although, I would say the first step would be building a space elevator to make Space more accessible.
Dude you've been watching WAY too many episodes of Gundam wing and one too many episodes of Voyager.

Space elevators are a great sci-fi tech for really advanced civilizations, but just like a Dyson's sphere their hugely impractical. They need massive amounts of materials, manpower, and monetary funds, not to mention technological advances in materials and technology that we simply don't have the capability of yet.

We (as in humans) have spent nearly half a century launching countless platforms into space that have become obsolete or malfunctioned and are just sitting there cluttering up the neighborhood so to speak. All that space junk we've accumulated is hugely beneficial in providing the next stepping stone of a moonbase. Metals, composites, gold, solar cells, nuclear reactors, the list goes on of all the materials we have just sitting there waiting to be recaptured and recycled. To bring all of these materials back to Earth would be hugely expensive and time consuming, but could supply a moonbase with extremely cheap resources for manufacturing a moonbase at much cheaper costs, especially when combined with the resources on the moon itself.

If you really want to sci-fi it up the logical progression would be moonbase, mars, Jupiter refueling/resupply station and from there out to the great unknown. On top of the resources in space junk and on the moon there would also be resources from mars and the asteroids as well all based around refinement, manufacturing and construction in space.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,623
# 16
06-30-2013, 09:41 PM
Counterpoint: consider that in all previous ages of exploration, there was a strong profit motive behind the investment-from the advance of Rome to the age of Sail to the (fairly nasty) colonial period. Profit.

Now, read and consider this: http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/SpaceLaw/outerspt.html

What motive is there for a prospector to go out there and dig, when everything he takes will be 'Distributed for the good of all mankind'? Where is the return on the investment? Our solar system, hell, just the moon, are a basket of valuable materials that only appear at trace levels here on Earth, most often mined in places that resemble war zones run by dictators (Africa, Afghanistan, etc.)

There is none, and humans are more Ferengi than they like to think, esp. when it comes to large scale investments. Governments have no significant reason on their own to pursue space exploration when they can invest in invasions, coups, terrorism, etc. and get the same return for a level of effort they are already accustomed to.

The only significant investment in space since Apollo, has been in Low-Earth-Orbit for a reason... because in an information age, the ability to shuttle data anywhere on earth is more valuable than megatons of real materials.
"when you're out of Birds of Prey, you're out of ships."
Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 398
# 17
06-30-2013, 10:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickngo View Post
Counterpoint: consider that in all previous ages of exploration, there was a strong profit motive behind the investment-from the advance of Rome to the age of Sail to the (fairly nasty) colonial period. Profit.

Now, read and consider this: http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/SpaceLaw/outerspt.html

What motive is there for a prospector to go out there and dig, when everything he takes will be 'Distributed for the good of all mankind'? Where is the return on the investment? Our solar system, hell, just the moon, are a basket of valuable materials that only appear at trace levels here on Earth, most often mined in places that resemble war zones run by dictators (Africa, Afghanistan, etc.)

There is none, and humans are more Ferengi than they like to think, esp. when it comes to large scale investments. Governments have no significant reason on their own to pursue space exploration when they can invest in invasions, coups, terrorism, etc. and get the same return for a level of effort they are already accustomed to.

The only significant investment in space since Apollo, has been in Low-Earth-Orbit for a reason... because in an information age, the ability to shuttle data anywhere on earth is more valuable than megatons of real materials.
There's a massive amount of profit in it. Far more profit than they could make from mining actual materials.

Any company that can make space travel safe for civilians will make billions, if not trillions, just in the tourist market. They don't have to mine a thing. Selling seats for space flights is already a huge money-maker and it's not even (pardon the pun) off the ground yet. It's totally a status symbol. It's not just for the space nuts. It's for the super rich who want to say they've done it.

And that means they can charge anything they want for a ticket.

The tourist market is far more profitable than anything involving resources. They make more on tourist and spend less on specialized equipment. It's why so many companies in America are shifting from manufacturing to service.
Commander
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 375
# 18
06-30-2013, 10:20 PM
Exploration isn't a priority, robbing death of mankinds end for awhile longer is what's important now. I always figured we'd Dyson Sphere a newly formed star from the nebula until we figured some sh*t out here.. nebulas don't move around so much as a planet, so it's a bit easier shot is what I'm trying to say. Got a system that last forever don't even have to aim for anything really the galaxy is just that abundant. Probably several more ways of propelling objects in a vacuum than just solar wind, we just haven't discovered it yet.
Lyndon Brewer: 20% chance to capture enemy ship for 60 seconds on successful use of boarding party.

cause sometimes its party time!
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,623
# 19
06-30-2013, 10:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by scruffyvulcan View Post
There's a massive amount of profit in it. Far more profit than they could make from mining actual materials.

Any company that can make space travel safe for civilians will make billions, if not trillions, just in the tourist market. They don't have to mine a thing. Selling seats for space flights is already a huge money-maker and it's not even (pardon the pun) off the ground yet. It's totally a status symbol. It's not just for the space nuts. It's for the super rich who want to say they've done it.

And that means they can charge anything they want for a ticket.

The tourist market is far more profitable than anything involving resources. They make more on tourist and spend less on specialized equipment. It's why so many companies in America are shifting from manufacturing to service.
I applaud your optimism, but I think you're wrong.

Joyrides don't lead anywhere, and I've lived in a tourist economy-it's hell on earth because it's dependent on optional spending, meaning that when things get 'a little tight' in the general economy, your tour operators Starve. (as does everyone who relies on them.)

The more exclusive your market is, the shorter the run from profit to penury.

For anything Permanent (which you would need to have to be at least minorly insulated from the tides of fashions and vagaries of the general economy), you have to have more than a tourist-trap in orbit and a cheap orbiter.

you have to have what is called "Efficiencies of Scale." Meaning the ability to move large numbers of cheap passengers and freight up out of the gravity well, and bring something of equal or greater economic value back down the well to Earth. A rocket-powered five minute tour bus isn't it, it won't even pay the cost on research for the next phase. Aircraft development had to have a "Killer App"-which was Airmail, believe it or not. if heavier-than-air flight had been confined to governments, we'd still have biplanes made of cloth and wood, and everyone would still be taking the TRAIN or a STEAMER long distances.

We hear every day that the Earth is running out of resources, well...

Luna has light industrial metals all over it's crust, the kind of metals modern alloys need to have in them to build more modern, efficient machinery and stronger, safer structures. Titan's lousy with hydrocarbons-we're reliant on plastics, which are in turn reliant on long-chain hydrocarbons for their creation. The oil's gonna run out sometime, and that little number on the bottom of your (Plastic, not cardboard) milk carton? that's an indicator of how many more times that plastic can be recycled before it's just hazardous waste.

We have a problem on this planet with hazardous wastes we can't store (reliably) for the duration of their hazardous nature-the count's growing, we can't just stop making it or it's back to the Pleistiocene for mankind. Moving production or disposal offsite could buy mankind thousands of years to figure out a better solution.

Not one of those is served by playing with tour-bus economics, tour-buses end up becoming unfashionable at some point, at which point, they generally go out of business if they're highly capital intensive to operate and don't have a 'hard' economic purpose they can be shifted to serve.

Where we've come to at this moment in time, is a dead-end.
"when you're out of Birds of Prey, you're out of ships."
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,584
# 20
06-30-2013, 10:51 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by voicesdark View Post
Dude you've been watching WAY too many episodes of Gundam wing and one too many episodes of Voyager.

Space elevators are a great sci-fi tech for really advanced civilizations, but just like a Dyson's sphere their hugely impractical. They need massive amounts of materials, manpower, and monetary funds, not to mention technological advances in materials and technology that we simply don't have the capability of yet.

We (as in humans) have spent nearly half a century launching countless platforms into space that have become obsolete or malfunctioned and are just sitting there cluttering up the neighborhood so to speak. All that space junk we've accumulated is hugely beneficial in providing the next stepping stone of a moonbase. Metals, composites, gold, solar cells, nuclear reactors, the list goes on of all the materials we have just sitting there waiting to be recaptured and recycled. To bring all of these materials back to Earth would be hugely expensive and time consuming, but could supply a moonbase with extremely cheap resources for manufacturing a moonbase at much cheaper costs, especially when combined with the resources on the moon itself.

If you really want to sci-fi it up the logical progression would be moonbase, mars, Jupiter refueling/resupply station and from there out to the great unknown. On top of the resources in space junk and on the moon there would also be resources from mars and the asteroids as well all based around refinement, manufacturing and construction in space.
And the current method is a waste. Build a rocket to throw it into space when we are done with it is too wasteful. There is also the amount of chemicals used up with a launch. A space elevator would only require electricity to run and we won't have to worry about getting a ton of equipment into orbit. Of course, there is always the possibility of some breakthrough like shielding a spacecraft from gravity so the Earth would move away from the spacecraft rather than the spacecraft moving away from the Earth, but a space elevator is more likely.
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