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Space Exploration


By The Professor   Follow   Fri, 16 Nov 2012, 5:47am PST   5,333 views   74 comments   Watch (1)   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike (1)  

Brought to you by your tax dollars courtesy of NASA.

http://www.wimp.com/walkingair/

Our planet is so beautiful and fragile. This video makes it obvious that we are impacting our finite world.

When I was young America went to the moon. We were promised a future world of flying cars, trips to mars, and unlimited possibilities.

Instead we have endless wars, increasing uneasiness, and a poverty of vision.

Why aren't we expanding out into the universe?

I propose that we declare victory and end all the wars (terror, poverty, drugs, Afghanistan, etc.) and start getting off this little planet.

It is the only way growth can continue.

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Vicente   befriend   ignore   Fri, 16 Nov 2012, 3:56pm PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 1

http://youtu.be/oY59wZdCDo0

New Renter   befriend   ignore   Mon, 19 Nov 2012, 10:06am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 2

The Professor says

Brought to you by your tax dollars courtesy of NASA.

http://www.wimp.com/walkingair/

Our planet is so beautiful and fragile. This video makes it obvious that we are impacting our finite world.

When I was young America went to the moon. We were promised a future world of flying cars, trips to mars, and unlimited possibilities.

Instead we have endless wars, increasing uneasiness, and a poverty of vision.

Why aren't we expanding out into the universe?

I propose that we declare victory and end all the wars (terror, poverty, drugs, Afghanistan, etc.) and start getting off this little planet.

It is the only way growth can continue.

After you my friend. Can I have your house when you don't make it back?

New Renter   befriend   ignore   Mon, 19 Nov 2012, 10:21am PST   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 3

The Professor says

Brought to you by your tax dollars courtesy of NASA.

To be interpreted as: Our funding is drying up because we squandered our budgeted billions of dollars on stupid space stations, shuttles and sophomoric math errors.

The Professor says

Our planet is so beautiful and fragile. This video makes it obvious that we are impacting our finite world.

So do ants.

The Professor says

When I was young America went to the moon. We were promised a future world of flying cars, trips to mars, and unlimited possibilities.

I'll bet you bought into Santa Claus too. Can I interest you in a hydrogen economy?

The Professor says

Instead we have endless wars, increasing uneasiness, and a poverty of vision.

5000 years and counting.

The Professor says

Why aren't we expanding out into the universe?

Because its nothing but rocks, freezing vacuum and uberhot plasma as far as the eye can see.

The Professor says

I propose that we declare victory and end all the wars (terror, poverty, drugs, Afghanistan, etc.) and start getting off this little planet.

Bush tried that - didn't work.

The Professor says

It is the only way growth can continue.

Or we can make and sell stuff we can actually use right here on earth.

Seriously man, put the crack pipe down.

The Professor   befriend   ignore   Mon, 19 Nov 2012, 12:30pm PST   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike (1)     Comment 4

New Renter says

Or we can make and sell stuff we can actually use right here on earth.
Seriously man, put the crack pipe down.

I don't smoke crack but I do have utopian dreams.

Dan8267   befriend   ignore   Mon, 19 Nov 2012, 3:35pm PST   Share   Quote   Like (3)   Dislike (1)     Comment 5

It's amazing what science and engineering can do, and what religion and superstition cannot.

The Professor   befriend   ignore   Tue, 20 Nov 2012, 7:49am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 6

New Renter says

The Professor says
When I was young America went to the moon. We were promised a future world of flying cars, trips to mars, and unlimited possibilities.

I'll bet you bought into Santa Claus too. Can I interest you in a hydrogen economy?
The Professor says
Instead we have endless wars, increasing uneasiness, and a poverty of vision.

5000 years and counting.

@new renter

Are you even more cynical than me?

If you watch the video you would see all of the lights growing like a cancer on our (earths) continents.

Our planet is finite. It can only hold so much "stuff we can actually use". More and more people want more and more stuff. Growth upon a limited base of resources has to end, probably not well.

We have to expand, change, or die. We have the theory, we merely need to develop the technology. Space technology is much like the technology we use to wage war on each other.

Our planet is small, the universe is infinite. We have taken "one small step" it is time we learn to walk.

New Renter   befriend   ignore   Tue, 20 Nov 2012, 8:04am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 7

The Professor says

Are you even more cynical than me?

Possibly - its a requirement for graduate school.

The Professor says

If you watch the video you would see all of the lights growing like a cancer on our (earths) continents.

You see cancer, I see progress. You'd love North Korea though.

The Professor says

Our planet is finite. It can only hold so much "stuff we can actually use". More and more people want more and more stuff. Growth upon a limited base of resources has to end, probably not well.

So use "stuff" more efficiently, recycle and embrace nuclear power. Its not hard.

The Professor says

We have to expand, change, or die. We have the theory, we merely need to develop the technology. Space technology is much like the technology we use to wage war on each other.

What theory would that be? What technology?

The Professor says

Our planet is small, the universe is infinite. We have taken "one small step" it is time we learn to walk.

I STRONGLY suggest you take a few math, science and engineering courses Then you can actually work towards your utopia.

leo707   befriend   ignore   Tue, 20 Nov 2012, 8:08am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 8

Dan8267 says

It's amazing what science and engineering can do, and what religion and superstition cannot.

I am always amazed that people are not continuously amazed at the "power" of science.

People, will gasp and stutter about "accuracy" of a vague horoscope, but shrug and yawn when someone tells them what sex their baby will be months before it is born.

No other discipline has been able to accurately predict the future, but science does it with such accuracy it has become boring.

Anyway, there may be limits to what science can do. We are not going to be able to colonize the galaxy without faster than light travel, generational ships, or "stasis." These things simply might be impossible.

But, yes I agree that we should be trying to escape the earth.

Automan Empire   befriend   ignore   Tue, 20 Nov 2012, 8:31am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 9

Haha. In such a discussion elsewhere, I threw out a Heinlein quote.
The meek shall inherit the earth; the rest of us will go to the stars.

Someone responded, "Aren't stars hot firey objects? I think I'll stay on Earth."

That is the mentality you are up against.

New Renter   befriend   ignore   Tue, 20 Nov 2012, 8:50am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 10

Automan Empire says

That is the mentality you are up against.

No, just the reality.

New Renter   befriend   ignore   Tue, 20 Nov 2012, 9:12am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 11

The Professor says

@new renter

Are you even more cynical than me?

Keep in mind I am the offspring of a Lockheed/Aerojet/Loral aerospace engineer. My father worked on numerous space vehicles, platforms, the shuttle and was a chief engineer on the ISS. My childhood and adolescence revolved around the space program including all the bust and boom times. My cynicism towards the space program is reflective of what my father shared with me about his experience working with NASA.

I also recognize the reality of what is out there - hard vacuum, lethal radiation, tiny rocks moving at speeds that make bullets look pedestrian, temperatures extreme enough to liquify helium or ionize anything with very little compromise. On top of that space is enormous. The NEAREST stars are 4.3 LIGHT YEARS away. How far is it to the nearest habitable rock? No idea, we haven't found one yet.

You say we have to get off the earth - I ask TO WHERE?

leo707   befriend   ignore   Tue, 20 Nov 2012, 9:15am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 12

New Renter says

I also recognize the reality of what is out there - hard vacuum, lethal radiation, tiny rocks moving at speeds that make bullets look pedestrian, temperatures extreme enough to liquify helium or ionize anything with very little compromise.

You forgot to mention the deadly probes.

Bellingham Bill   befriend   ignore   Tue, 20 Nov 2012, 9:22am PST   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 13

New Renter says

You say we have to get off the earth - I ask TO WHERE?

yeah, the truth here is that there's no shortage of anything here really.

Just artificial scarcity, and going to the moon isn't going to change that.

Anyplace on Antarctica or in the middle of the Sahara would be tons more habitable than anywhere we can get to off this rock.

Per-capita GDP now is over $40,000. That should be enough for everyone to live a productive, happy life here. We just have a distribution problem.

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=cZZ

New Renter   befriend   ignore   Tue, 20 Nov 2012, 9:37am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 14

Bellingham Bill says

Anyplace on Antarctica or in the middle of the Sahara would be tons more habitable than anywhere we can get to off this rock.

True, even the bottom of the ocean is more habitable than any known extraterrestrial real estate.

The Professor   befriend   ignore   Tue, 20 Nov 2012, 9:46am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 15

New Renter says

The Professor says
We have to expand, change, or die. We have the theory, we merely need to develop the technology. Space technology is much like the technology we use to wage war on each other.

What theory would that be? What technology?

Where did you study?

New Renter says

I STRONGLY suggest you take a few math, science and engineering courses Then you can actually work towards your utopia.

Thanks. I'll look into that.

New Renter   befriend   ignore   Tue, 20 Nov 2012, 9:48am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 16

UCD and UCSD

The Professor   befriend   ignore   Tue, 20 Nov 2012, 9:53am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 17

New Renter says

You say we have to get off the earth - I ask TO WHERE?

Start with the moon.

It is the perfect off-planet base to start with. It has no atmosphere and less gravity than earth making it easier to launch from. In addition the same side always faces us with the remainder facing the universe.

Then on to Mars.

The technology will evolve to meet the challenges. Innovators will continue to solve problems and open new doors.

Mars would be the obvious next step.

The Professor   befriend   ignore   Tue, 20 Nov 2012, 9:59am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 18

New Renter says

True, even the bottom of the ocean is more habitable than any known extraterrestrial real estate.

Agreed.

Still, this big blue marble is finite and the population keeps increasing. The war pigs keep growing, the bankers get fatter, and cannibal anarchy gets closer.

I was raised on star trek but live in a reality show world.

The Professor   befriend   ignore   Tue, 20 Nov 2012, 10:02am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 19

Bellingham Bill says

yeah, the truth here is that there's no shortage of anything here really.

Agreed.

The world has always been and will always be what it is.

We have everything we need. We get in trouble from our want.

New Renter   befriend   ignore   Tue, 20 Nov 2012, 10:13am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 20

The Professor says

New Renter says

You say we have to get off the earth - I ask TO WHERE?

Start with the moon.

It is the perfect off-planet base to start with. It has no atmosphere and less gravity than earth making it easier to launch from. In addition the same side always faces us with the remainder facing the universe.

Then on to Mars.

The technology will evolve to meet the challenges. Innovators will continue to solve problems and open new doors.

Mars would be the obvious next step.

Something to consider here. Many years ago my father put the costs involved with getting stuff just into a low earth orbit (~300 miles). The costs involved were roughly equivalent to the value of the object if it were made of pure gold. The costs to get to the moon? Much, much more than that.

As you point out the moon has no atmosphere. That means nothing to breathe. Sure you can manufacture a breathable atmosphere but for how long? Even here on earth enclosed biodomes have had very poor success.

Having the same side facing earth is of little importance.

Mars? Raise the moon colony costs by at least 1000x. There is also the issue of trying to get a living breathing astronaut team just to survive the trip.

The Professor says

The technology will evolve to meet the challenges. Innovators will continue to solve problems and open new doors.

Perhaps but until we find or invent a stargate, or some kind of FTL drive the best option for the foreseeable future is to send unmanned probes. That is unless we are visited by friendly aliens who are willing to give us a lift.

I am confident we can use technology and innovation to solve things like cancer and STDs; to make nuclear power 100% safe and reliable. To travel to the stars? I'll believe it when I see it.

New Renter   befriend   ignore   Tue, 20 Nov 2012, 10:18am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 21

The Professor says

Still, this big blue marble is finite and the population keeps increasing.

For now. Prosperity usually brings lower birth rates.

New Renter   befriend   ignore   Tue, 20 Nov 2012, 10:19am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 22

The Professor says

The war pigs keep growing, the bankers get fatter, and cannibal anarchy gets closer.

Historically speaking 2/3s of this is not true.

leo707   befriend   ignore   Wed, 21 Nov 2012, 2:30am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 23

New Renter says

True, even the bottom of the ocean is more habitable than any known extraterrestrial real estate.

For life in general perhaps, but I believe that the bottom of the ocean is a more difficult place for a man to get to and survive than the moon.

New Renter   befriend   ignore   Wed, 28 Nov 2012, 1:49pm PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 24

leo707 says

New Renter says

True, even the bottom of the ocean is more habitable than any known extraterrestrial real estate.

For life in general perhaps, but I believe that the bottom of the ocean is a more difficult place for a man to get to and survive than the moon.

With just an engine block and a rope and I can show you just how easy it is to get to the bottom of the ocean. Surviving? Actually that's not so difficult either. With the magic of nuclear power, modern materials and awesome engineering one could build a submersible that would have the ability to remain on station for years generating air, drinkable water and heat for the crew. Food could be dropped from the surface or harvested locally. Giant squid burger anyone?

Now the moon is MUCH harder to get to. There is also no reliable source of air, water, or food. Climate control would be difficult as well as there is no atmosphere or ocean to act as a heat sink.

Given my choice I'd take the bottom of the ocean.

marcus   befriend   ignore   Wed, 28 Nov 2012, 2:07pm PST   Share   Quote   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 25

NASA is working on a warp drive.

http://techland.time.com/2012/09/19/nasa-actually-working-on-faster-than-light-warp-drive/

leo707   befriend   ignore   Thu, 29 Nov 2012, 3:32am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 26

New Renter says

With just an engine block and a rope and I can show you just how easy it is to get to the bottom of the ocean.

The only thing that makes it easier to get to the bottom of the ocean is gravity. The energy to escape the earths orbit is the huge cost of going to space. It costs about 8 million to drop one person in a cramped cockpit to the bottom of the ocean.

3 people (one trip had two), and 2 unmanned trips have been to the bottom of the ocean. Hundreds of people have been to space. 12 people have walked on the moon, over 9 missions. We have people living in an orbiting space station. No one has ever walked on the bottom of the ocean.

New Renter says

Surviving? Actually that's not so difficult either. With the magic of nuclear power, modern materials and awesome engineering one could build a submersible that would have the ability to remain on station for years generating air, drinkable water and heat for the crew. Food could be dropped from the surface or harvested locally. Giant squid burger anyone?

First off giant squids only reach a depth of maybe 4000ft, and the deepest fish exist at around 14,000ft. Past 3000ft there is no sunlight to grow food. This is a long way off from the bottom at around 36,000ft.

The crush depth for the deepest models of nuclear submarines is about 5000ft. The deepest test depths for the current US fleet of subs is 2,000ft. (Note: a US nuclear sub costs more to build than a space shuttle, the total NASA budget is significantly less than the cost of the nuke sub budget--and those subs never got that deep)

New Renter says

Now the moon is MUCH harder to get to. There is also no reliable source of air, water, or food. Climate control would be difficult as well as there is no atmosphere or ocean to act as a heat sink.

At the bottom the pressure is over 8 tons per square inch. There is no food, no air at the bottom. Any attempt to "harvest" water at the bottom would require a system that can handle the 8 tons per square inch of pressure, and then you would need to desalinate it. As I am sure you know desalinization in and of itself is not cheap or easy. Living on a nuclear reactor would make this easier.

Yes, the ocean is a heat sink, and that is not a bonus with the freezing temperatures at the bottom. Any habitat, plumbing, etc. would have to be constantly heated.

New Renter says

Given my choice I'd take the bottom of the ocean.

You will probably have the choice to move to a moon colony before you get the opportunity to live in a colony at the bottom of the ocean.

New Renter   befriend   ignore   Sat, 1 Dec 2012, 4:52am PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 27

leo707 says

The only thing that makes it easier to get to the bottom of the ocean is gravity.

Great - eliminate gravity and all our space exploration problems are solved.

leo707 says

The energy to escape the earths orbit is the huge cost of going to space. It costs about 8 million to drop one person in a cramped cockpit to the bottom of the ocean.

3 people (one trip had two), and 2 unmanned trips have been to the bottom of the ocean. Hundreds of people have been to space. 12 people have walked on the moon, over 9 missions. We have people living in an orbiting space station.

And it cost $450M for each shuttle mission just to get to low earth orbit and many billions for the space station.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuttle_program

leo707 says

No one has ever walked on the bottom of the ocean.

No-one has ever walked at the far edge of the universe either which is the true comparison of the extremes of distance here.

Just for fun lets make this comparison. The universe is estimate to be 93B light years across. For the sake of simplicity lets approximate it as a sphere. That makes it 47B light years from here to there. That's 2.7x 10^26 miles. Compare that to the 6.2 miles to the bottom of the ocean. The distance to the moon relative to the edge of the universe is comparable to about 10 ATTOmeters to the absolute bottom of the ocean.