RIP Neil Armstrong

RIP Neil Armstrong

Robin Bobcat
Robin Bobcat

August 25th, 2012, 8:39 pm #1

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds, --and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of --Wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there

I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air...

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue

I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace

Where never lark or even eagle flew --

And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
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MephitMark
MephitMark

August 25th, 2012, 9:24 pm #2

And the greatest disservice, to insult done to his inspiring deed, is for our 'leaders' to turn their backs on the vast open frontier he help open.

I can only ponder what the human race could have achieved if we had not lost our way.
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jwhouk
jwhouk

August 26th, 2012, 1:45 am #3

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds, --and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of --Wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there

I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air...

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue

I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace

Where never lark or even eagle flew --

And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
The saddest part of the news, other than his passing truly makes me feel aged (the cardboard model of the LEM on my desk is likely older than some posters on here), is how few people there are in this world who are likely to even come close to matching what he did.

RIP Mr. Armstrong.
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Doc Nickel
Doc Nickel

August 26th, 2012, 10:35 am #4

And the greatest disservice, to insult done to his inspiring deed, is for our 'leaders' to turn their backs on the vast open frontier he help open.

I can only ponder what the human race could have achieved if we had not lost our way.
You bring up something that's kind of a "pet peeve" of mine- the idea that we've stopped trying to explore space, or even research new ways of doing so, just because we're not putting people on the moon anymore, or actively working on a manned Mars mission.

Nothing, as they say, could be further from the truth; The problem is that it's an extremely complicated task, hugely expensive in terms of time, manpower and cash, and at the moment would provide very little gain for that expenditure.

Everyone imagines some movie or TV scenario when they think of space exploration. We all want to be able to hop into a Millenium Falcon and jet off to the other end of the galaxy. Or even to spend a few weeks in hypersleep and then ride a dropship down to the surface for a little bug-hunting. Or to cruise around the galaxy running across suspiciously-compatible english-speaking green-skinned women every other week.

While that's fun to imagine and makes for an entertaining show, the reality we face is not so glamorous.

The cost- in both energy and coin- just to get to low-earth orbit is tremendous. Yeah, SpaceX has managed to do it for a fraction of a shuttle launch, but it's still over a hundred and thirty million dollars just to take the equivalent of a carload of groceries to the Space Station. Trying to shoot for the moon would cost twenty times that. Mars, fifty.

And for what? We've already put men on the moon. And all we really found are rocks. There is no mineral or element on the moon that would make another trip worthwhile. Yes, there's H3, but we have no reactor in which to use it, so there's no point in collecting it.

Even if we found an outcropping of pure gold or platinum, it's not worth the cost to go and get it.

Mars is the same situation. It would be really cool to land men there, have them dig around, plant a flag or two, and come home, but logistically, it's a fantastically difficult prospect. The duration of the trip (Curiosity took 11 months) the radiation in transit, all sorts of things. The Apollo guys took off with a rocket weighing 6-1/2 million pounds, and landed with a pod the size of a small car. What would it take to go a thousand times further?

I'm not saying we shouldn't be exploring space. Fact is, we are- exhibit 1, Curiosity. Robots are more cost-effective at the moment. A manned trip to Mars might let the astronauts stay on the surface for a few days- Mars doesn't have our Magnetosphere or even a significant atmosphere, so radiation would be a constant problem. The only way to minimize it is to limit the duration of exposure.

On the other hand, Curiosity will be able to cruise around for months, potentially years.

Manned space exploration is hardly on hiatus- rather, we're more in a sort of transitional period. Similar to the advent of the internal-combustion-engined car; We've made it roll, but not very fast, and outside of a handful of cities, there's no paved roads and no place to gas it up.

For space exploration, we first have to make some huge leaps in technology before we can really start to explore, to say nothing of colonizing anywhere, even just the moon.

We need to first find a way to lift things off the surface into orbit. Just accellerating your spacecraft to escape velocity requires a monstrous amount of fuel- most of which is spent just to lift itself. We either need to come up with a way to get things to orbit using some kind of non-rocket technique (say, a space elevator) or to make our chemical rockets significantly more efficient- and unfortunately, physics is, as always, an unforgiving mistress. There's just so much Delta-V available in X amount of Y chemical.

Yes, it's nice to think of things like fusion engines or "reactionless" drives or fist-sized arc reactors that can somehow power electrical drives that use no fuel to produce thrust. But at the moment, that is all, still, in the realm of science fiction.

And while we are working on it, we don't need to keep slinging people into space on giant candles to research it. Putting some guy on the moon with a machine to harvest H3 tells us nothing about how to warp space or put a person safely into suspended animation. All that research is going on down here on earth, and chances are it's being done outside NASA.

The Large Hadron Collider might show us the first steps towards some form of practical fusion, or even the first steps towards a reactionless drive, or possibly give us a lead on artificial gravity. Medical research might lead to viable suspended animation, so a Mars trip that takes a year each way might only seem like weeks to the astronauts.

The unspoken part of the problem, however, is that it's entirely possible that none of it is even possible. Yes, our best scriptwriters can envision hyperdrives and warp speed and antimatter reactors, but there's no reason that any of that is possible, even given unlimited funds and hundreds of years of research by an army of our finest minds.

Lots of people like to think that if we just Manhattan Project'ed some kind of sci-fi starship drive, if we just threw every tax dollar we could and hired every theoretical thinker we could enlist, that we'd have a workable drive in a couple of years. Again, that's not how it works. There's no formula where if you throw X dollars at it for Y years you get Z breakthrough.

The things we're hoping for- hyper/warp drives, artificial gravity, even a low or no fuel drive that "only" gets a ship to a fair percentage of C- may well be impossible. Not "impossible with our current technology", but absolutely not possible, period. Like putting the entire planet Jupiter into the glovebox of a '73 Dodge Dart. That kind of impossible.

Again, I'm not saying we shouldn't be exploring, or researching how to explore. I'm saying we ARE, it's just that we're not doing it by continuing to fling junk at the ISS with an outdated space-bus, nor by wasting money trying to establish a pointless moon-base or something. We're doing it here on earth, and maybe, just maybe, one day somebody'll stack the right stuff together to climb up onto the shoulder of the next giant, and we can start exploring space for real.

Doc.
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Brandon_ha
Brandon_ha

August 26th, 2012, 12:00 pm #5

We aren't at war with the Ruskies. Unless china decides to make for some actual competition in an arms race to space like what happened in the 60's, there's just not going to be the incentive. Sure we WANT to go, but wanting and having a practical reason to are two different and far away things.

Brandon_ha
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MephitMark
MephitMark

August 26th, 2012, 1:52 pm #6

You bring up something that's kind of a "pet peeve" of mine- the idea that we've stopped trying to explore space, or even research new ways of doing so, just because we're not putting people on the moon anymore, or actively working on a manned Mars mission.

Nothing, as they say, could be further from the truth; The problem is that it's an extremely complicated task, hugely expensive in terms of time, manpower and cash, and at the moment would provide very little gain for that expenditure.

Everyone imagines some movie or TV scenario when they think of space exploration. We all want to be able to hop into a Millenium Falcon and jet off to the other end of the galaxy. Or even to spend a few weeks in hypersleep and then ride a dropship down to the surface for a little bug-hunting. Or to cruise around the galaxy running across suspiciously-compatible english-speaking green-skinned women every other week.

While that's fun to imagine and makes for an entertaining show, the reality we face is not so glamorous.

The cost- in both energy and coin- just to get to low-earth orbit is tremendous. Yeah, SpaceX has managed to do it for a fraction of a shuttle launch, but it's still over a hundred and thirty million dollars just to take the equivalent of a carload of groceries to the Space Station. Trying to shoot for the moon would cost twenty times that. Mars, fifty.

And for what? We've already put men on the moon. And all we really found are rocks. There is no mineral or element on the moon that would make another trip worthwhile. Yes, there's H3, but we have no reactor in which to use it, so there's no point in collecting it.

Even if we found an outcropping of pure gold or platinum, it's not worth the cost to go and get it.

Mars is the same situation. It would be really cool to land men there, have them dig around, plant a flag or two, and come home, but logistically, it's a fantastically difficult prospect. The duration of the trip (Curiosity took 11 months) the radiation in transit, all sorts of things. The Apollo guys took off with a rocket weighing 6-1/2 million pounds, and landed with a pod the size of a small car. What would it take to go a thousand times further?

I'm not saying we shouldn't be exploring space. Fact is, we are- exhibit 1, Curiosity. Robots are more cost-effective at the moment. A manned trip to Mars might let the astronauts stay on the surface for a few days- Mars doesn't have our Magnetosphere or even a significant atmosphere, so radiation would be a constant problem. The only way to minimize it is to limit the duration of exposure.

On the other hand, Curiosity will be able to cruise around for months, potentially years.

Manned space exploration is hardly on hiatus- rather, we're more in a sort of transitional period. Similar to the advent of the internal-combustion-engined car; We've made it roll, but not very fast, and outside of a handful of cities, there's no paved roads and no place to gas it up.

For space exploration, we first have to make some huge leaps in technology before we can really start to explore, to say nothing of colonizing anywhere, even just the moon.

We need to first find a way to lift things off the surface into orbit. Just accellerating your spacecraft to escape velocity requires a monstrous amount of fuel- most of which is spent just to lift itself. We either need to come up with a way to get things to orbit using some kind of non-rocket technique (say, a space elevator) or to make our chemical rockets significantly more efficient- and unfortunately, physics is, as always, an unforgiving mistress. There's just so much Delta-V available in X amount of Y chemical.

Yes, it's nice to think of things like fusion engines or "reactionless" drives or fist-sized arc reactors that can somehow power electrical drives that use no fuel to produce thrust. But at the moment, that is all, still, in the realm of science fiction.

And while we are working on it, we don't need to keep slinging people into space on giant candles to research it. Putting some guy on the moon with a machine to harvest H3 tells us nothing about how to warp space or put a person safely into suspended animation. All that research is going on down here on earth, and chances are it's being done outside NASA.

The Large Hadron Collider might show us the first steps towards some form of practical fusion, or even the first steps towards a reactionless drive, or possibly give us a lead on artificial gravity. Medical research might lead to viable suspended animation, so a Mars trip that takes a year each way might only seem like weeks to the astronauts.

The unspoken part of the problem, however, is that it's entirely possible that none of it is even possible. Yes, our best scriptwriters can envision hyperdrives and warp speed and antimatter reactors, but there's no reason that any of that is possible, even given unlimited funds and hundreds of years of research by an army of our finest minds.

Lots of people like to think that if we just Manhattan Project'ed some kind of sci-fi starship drive, if we just threw every tax dollar we could and hired every theoretical thinker we could enlist, that we'd have a workable drive in a couple of years. Again, that's not how it works. There's no formula where if you throw X dollars at it for Y years you get Z breakthrough.

The things we're hoping for- hyper/warp drives, artificial gravity, even a low or no fuel drive that "only" gets a ship to a fair percentage of C- may well be impossible. Not "impossible with our current technology", but absolutely not possible, period. Like putting the entire planet Jupiter into the glovebox of a '73 Dodge Dart. That kind of impossible.

Again, I'm not saying we shouldn't be exploring, or researching how to explore. I'm saying we ARE, it's just that we're not doing it by continuing to fling junk at the ISS with an outdated space-bus, nor by wasting money trying to establish a pointless moon-base or something. We're doing it here on earth, and maybe, just maybe, one day somebody'll stack the right stuff together to climb up onto the shoulder of the next giant, and we can start exploring space for real.

Doc.
But I do not disagree Nickel with the vast majority of you statement. Though I rather say that reality is a very harsh master. Yes we are using in many respects outdated equipment and technologies, mainly because they are proven systems and such. And I am very aware of the dangers involved in the exploration of space. I firmly believe the use of robotic probes to go first, to see if there is anything interesting/worth looking into further.

No, when I speak of "loosing our way", I am talking of the political will, as well as the general social will to push ourselves to go farther. I guess humans are to easily 'distracted' in some respects. Or as is many the cases, very lacking the ability to imagine what could be possible. And no, I'm not talking sci-fi nonsense, but, hopefully, real world changing possibilities.
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Madcat
Madcat

August 26th, 2012, 4:51 pm #7

You bring up something that's kind of a "pet peeve" of mine- the idea that we've stopped trying to explore space, or even research new ways of doing so, just because we're not putting people on the moon anymore, or actively working on a manned Mars mission.

Nothing, as they say, could be further from the truth; The problem is that it's an extremely complicated task, hugely expensive in terms of time, manpower and cash, and at the moment would provide very little gain for that expenditure.

Everyone imagines some movie or TV scenario when they think of space exploration. We all want to be able to hop into a Millenium Falcon and jet off to the other end of the galaxy. Or even to spend a few weeks in hypersleep and then ride a dropship down to the surface for a little bug-hunting. Or to cruise around the galaxy running across suspiciously-compatible english-speaking green-skinned women every other week.

While that's fun to imagine and makes for an entertaining show, the reality we face is not so glamorous.

The cost- in both energy and coin- just to get to low-earth orbit is tremendous. Yeah, SpaceX has managed to do it for a fraction of a shuttle launch, but it's still over a hundred and thirty million dollars just to take the equivalent of a carload of groceries to the Space Station. Trying to shoot for the moon would cost twenty times that. Mars, fifty.

And for what? We've already put men on the moon. And all we really found are rocks. There is no mineral or element on the moon that would make another trip worthwhile. Yes, there's H3, but we have no reactor in which to use it, so there's no point in collecting it.

Even if we found an outcropping of pure gold or platinum, it's not worth the cost to go and get it.

Mars is the same situation. It would be really cool to land men there, have them dig around, plant a flag or two, and come home, but logistically, it's a fantastically difficult prospect. The duration of the trip (Curiosity took 11 months) the radiation in transit, all sorts of things. The Apollo guys took off with a rocket weighing 6-1/2 million pounds, and landed with a pod the size of a small car. What would it take to go a thousand times further?

I'm not saying we shouldn't be exploring space. Fact is, we are- exhibit 1, Curiosity. Robots are more cost-effective at the moment. A manned trip to Mars might let the astronauts stay on the surface for a few days- Mars doesn't have our Magnetosphere or even a significant atmosphere, so radiation would be a constant problem. The only way to minimize it is to limit the duration of exposure.

On the other hand, Curiosity will be able to cruise around for months, potentially years.

Manned space exploration is hardly on hiatus- rather, we're more in a sort of transitional period. Similar to the advent of the internal-combustion-engined car; We've made it roll, but not very fast, and outside of a handful of cities, there's no paved roads and no place to gas it up.

For space exploration, we first have to make some huge leaps in technology before we can really start to explore, to say nothing of colonizing anywhere, even just the moon.

We need to first find a way to lift things off the surface into orbit. Just accellerating your spacecraft to escape velocity requires a monstrous amount of fuel- most of which is spent just to lift itself. We either need to come up with a way to get things to orbit using some kind of non-rocket technique (say, a space elevator) or to make our chemical rockets significantly more efficient- and unfortunately, physics is, as always, an unforgiving mistress. There's just so much Delta-V available in X amount of Y chemical.

Yes, it's nice to think of things like fusion engines or "reactionless" drives or fist-sized arc reactors that can somehow power electrical drives that use no fuel to produce thrust. But at the moment, that is all, still, in the realm of science fiction.

And while we are working on it, we don't need to keep slinging people into space on giant candles to research it. Putting some guy on the moon with a machine to harvest H3 tells us nothing about how to warp space or put a person safely into suspended animation. All that research is going on down here on earth, and chances are it's being done outside NASA.

The Large Hadron Collider might show us the first steps towards some form of practical fusion, or even the first steps towards a reactionless drive, or possibly give us a lead on artificial gravity. Medical research might lead to viable suspended animation, so a Mars trip that takes a year each way might only seem like weeks to the astronauts.

The unspoken part of the problem, however, is that it's entirely possible that none of it is even possible. Yes, our best scriptwriters can envision hyperdrives and warp speed and antimatter reactors, but there's no reason that any of that is possible, even given unlimited funds and hundreds of years of research by an army of our finest minds.

Lots of people like to think that if we just Manhattan Project'ed some kind of sci-fi starship drive, if we just threw every tax dollar we could and hired every theoretical thinker we could enlist, that we'd have a workable drive in a couple of years. Again, that's not how it works. There's no formula where if you throw X dollars at it for Y years you get Z breakthrough.

The things we're hoping for- hyper/warp drives, artificial gravity, even a low or no fuel drive that "only" gets a ship to a fair percentage of C- may well be impossible. Not "impossible with our current technology", but absolutely not possible, period. Like putting the entire planet Jupiter into the glovebox of a '73 Dodge Dart. That kind of impossible.

Again, I'm not saying we shouldn't be exploring, or researching how to explore. I'm saying we ARE, it's just that we're not doing it by continuing to fling junk at the ISS with an outdated space-bus, nor by wasting money trying to establish a pointless moon-base or something. We're doing it here on earth, and maybe, just maybe, one day somebody'll stack the right stuff together to climb up onto the shoulder of the next giant, and we can start exploring space for real.

Doc.
Too many people want results NOW, a lot of politicians will only rubber stamp projects that will get results in the time they are in office, noone wants to put their name to a project that might take 50 years to see results, if we put as much enthusiasm and money into space and medical research as we do to researching things like mobile phones and games consoles maybe this world would be a much better place.

[/rant]
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Robert L Martin
Robert L Martin

August 26th, 2012, 6:35 pm #8

We aren't at war with the Ruskies. Unless china decides to make for some actual competition in an arms race to space like what happened in the 60's, there's just not going to be the incentive. Sure we WANT to go, but wanting and having a practical reason to are two different and far away things.

Brandon_ha
If we find out somehow that some mineral when combined with petrol jumps the octane/cleans fuel systems can be found on Dah Moon ...


Exxon/BP/Shell will make it a NEXT QUARTER MUST HAPPEN type thing

or if there is some sort of "moonstone" then Debeers will do the same Diamonds are only valuable due to Debeers mucking with things [outside your fancy Maker Shoppes of course]
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Robert L Martin
Robert L Martin

August 26th, 2012, 6:43 pm #9

Too many people want results NOW, a lot of politicians will only rubber stamp projects that will get results in the time they are in office, noone wants to put their name to a project that might take 50 years to see results, if we put as much enthusiasm and money into space and medical research as we do to researching things like mobile phones and games consoles maybe this world would be a much better place.

[/rant]
1 invent some sort of P2P teleport ring tech (like from StarGate)
A test the begeebers out of it here on earth
B give some PoliCritters demos

2 get Bots on Dah Moon

3 have Dah Bots build some Domes and get them tested

4 have them drop a TP ring in a secure area (Dome 1 has inside of it Dome A which has Room Alpha)

5 bring the people up (maybe use Hard Cons for the "grunt labor"??)


this has the benefits of lots of cool prelim tech to distract the PoliCritters
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Urban Werebear
Urban Werebear

August 26th, 2012, 8:33 pm #10

The one thing being using convict labor. It starts getting a little ambiguous once you start thinking about the second generation. Or even release terms on the first-gen group.

I mean, what good is parole or end-of-sentence release if your bones are wrecked from ten years in low-gee? Is the gub'mint gonna pay to rehab a con, or are they just going to leave them to rot? Wouldn't that be considered a sentence of exile without a verdict in court?

What about families? Are you going to transport a con's kin with him? What about housing and food? Schooling for the kids? Their rehab to enable them to go back to Earth?

I'm guessing a rebuttal might go something like this, "Use lifers or death-sentenced cons! And their families have to stay groundside!" In that case, what motivation can you offer them? Why should they work if there's no chance for clemency or a reduced sentence or even a visit from their mom? And in many cases, are they even able to do the kind of work expected of them? I haven't heard of many astronauts or aerospace engineers being convicted lately.

Also, what about guards? Are they to be exiled as well?

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