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      CommentAuthoragentarsenic
    • CommentTimeMay 7th 2008 edited
     (2145.1)
    I'm no scientist and I'm sure some of the cracked eggheads here can fill in the blanks or mentally rape me for getting things wrong.

    From what I understand, even going outside of our own atmosphere is dangerous. Proton radiation holes out your spongy bone connectors and spacerocks the size of peas (but traveling at 20,000ft per second) can destroy your whole spacecraft. Further out from Earth there is even more dangerous radiation and bigger specs traveling faster to smash human space hopes.

    Then there's the issues of propulsion, speed, and time. Let's say there was some kind of miracle propulsion system that could move at a couple of miles a second. Since time is subjective, what would the travelers find when they came home from their ten year trip to God knows where?

    Does anyone see any viable future to getting off motherock and out into the cosmos?
  1.  (2145.2)
    If ever we start moving among the planets of our own solar system will be very telling as for conditions and hazards. Let's say for argument's sake we establish colonies on Jupiter's moons, Mars and/or start mining asteroids. We'll get a better idea on the hazards and difficulties to the whole affair then we do even now.

    I believe it will happen, to be sure. Mankind will need a whole different perspective on patience to make it happen, though. My guess is the Bussard ramjet will be the most likely candidate. A fairly large ship would be necessary also, I believe. Of course, these speculations are not my own.

    First things first; Let's get established on the moon. That'll make things easier and get the ball rolling...
  2.  (2145.3)
    Space travel is one of the most ridiculous expenditures in the United states budget. Billions of dollars a year. For what? To blow up five to ten people in a tin can? The only good thing to go up there for is to build and maintain satellites.

    Is there water on the moon? A clean gasoline alternative? No. There are rocks. Lots of useless rocks.

    I don't think mankind will be around long enough to perfect interstellar travel. We can barely get to the moon without a hassle. What do we need a space station for? We need to spend that money on things that actually matter.
  3.  (2145.4)
    @Zombinoid

    I'm with you in the Mankind-Will-Never-See-Interstellar-Travel-Before-We-Self-Immolate rocketboat.
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      CommentAuthorCyman
    • CommentTimeMay 7th 2008 edited
     (2145.5)
    @ Zombinoid: What if we find a way to run our cars on bleu cheese? Then the moon will be invaluable.

    And if we (Americans) can spend "$5,000/second on a war in Iraq" (Harry Reid on The Daily Show), then surely we (humanity as awhole) can afford to do some exploring. I think Clarke's idea of the space elevator could be useful... but maybe it's just me.
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      CommentAuthoragentarsenic
    • CommentTimeMay 7th 2008 edited
     (2145.6)
    2 Internets if someone can come up with a way to not get holed by superfast outerspace objects. That seems to limit exploration right there.
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      CommentAuthorm1k3y
    • CommentTimeMay 7th 2008
     (2145.7)
    what was that thing about the Russians building some LEO construction facility?

    crazy that those guys still seem to be winning all the prizes
  4.  (2145.8)
    @m1k3y

    Please you will be explaining to me this LEO, comrade. My acronym not so good, nyet.

    Is LEO construction facility the "spaceships built in space" thing that Russia wants to roll out after the International Exploitation Station is built?
  5.  (2145.9)
    If we don't go to space, we die as a species. I'm not saying we'll make it, although I'd like to think we will, just that it's necessary. People need more resources, there are infinite resources in space. Therefore, we need space.
  6.  (2145.10)
    @James
    Is this a feasible option though, going into space for resources? If it does come to that it will be like early coal mining, the risks and physical effects are major.

    Robots can mine stuff, we don't necessarily have to go.
  7.  (2145.11)
    LEO = Low Earth orbit

    As far as the feasibility of space travel goes, I see the main obstacle being the sheer mind-fucking expanse of space. Takes you forever to get anywhere... that and the limits of your reaction mass.
    • CommentAuthorrough night
    • CommentTimeMay 8th 2008 edited
     (2145.12)
    The dying as a species issue also comes into play when you consider the possibility (low, but over time inevitable) of extinction level events. They do happen occasionally, and so far we have nowhere to go if it happens again. If humans are to survive long term we need other options, and other places where we can store resources and grow food. None of the options we're looking at right now seem real comfortable (mars and the moon most likely) but it would be possible to make at least temporary habitations on either one, to live in at least long enough to wait out the after-effects of an astroid strike or supervolcano. Anything is possible so long as we start at the beginning and keep going, and mars and the moon look like the beginning to me.
  8.  (2145.13)
    And if we (Americans) can spend "$5,000/second on a war in Iraq" (Harry Reid on The Daily Show), then surely we (humanity as awhole) can afford to do some exploring. I think Clarke's idea of the space elevator could be useful... but maybe it's just me.


    I could afford an eightball of meth right now. Does that mean I should go buy one?

    If we don't go to space, we die as a species. I'm not saying we'll make it, although I'd like to think we will, just that it's necessary. People need more resources, there are infinite resources in space. Therefore, we need space.


    Can you give me one example of a valuable space resource? The answer is not rocks.
  9.  (2145.14)
    One example- energy. How much do you want?

    Another example- zero-g manufacturing.

    That's two off the top of my head, and I'm not a scientist. Please note the complete lack of rocks involved in the response.
  10.  (2145.15)
    Zombinoid-
    Can you give me one example of a valuable space resource? The answer is not rocks.


    Not to be too "Ice Pirates" about our future, but... Water?



    Granted, one would hope that finding the means to process and cleanse water would be technologically easier and more cost effective than space travel...

    Or, if we don't make the leap to organic computers in the near future, silicone and other technology-metals will be under even heavier demand and significant world shortage.
  11.  (2145.16)
    Growing food is earth orbiting greenhouse satellites also seems like a useful endeavor for space travel.

    As for the whole "robots could do it" thing, I partially agree, but you'll always need a few people there for robot maintenance and general troubleshooting. Some things just can't be done right from thousands of miles away.
    •  
      CommentAuthorJehrot
    • CommentTimeMay 8th 2008
     (2145.17)
    @agentarsenic Build a craft superfast outerspace objects are scared of?
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      CommentAuthorJon Wake
    • CommentTimeMay 8th 2008
     (2145.18)
    @Zombinoid

    This is an argument I hear crop up from time to time. The Pragmatism Doctrine is something like "why fund what has no use for humankind?"

    The answer is that we don't know what will and won't result in benefits for the human species. The egg-headed electromagnetism of the 1800's directly resulted in the Radio, and how many thousands of lives have been saved by an Emergency Broadcast? What will spacetravel yield? We have no idea, and I find it a bit myopic to deny future generations the potential benefits (and yes, trials) because in our limited imagination we can think of no short term gains.

    More profoundly, we are humans. We are the most expansionist species since the bacteria, we spread and explore because it is in our bones. It is a desire that we cannot deny, and denying it will lead to ennui and apathy. Not might. It will. In many ways, it has. We need somewhere to go.

    There are problems. Some are solvable (space debris and radiation are engineering problems), some require re-thinking our view of travel (space is quite big), and some just require political Will (manned Mars mission). I'm sure you're asking: "Why? When children are starving and guns and murder and rape and all the rest?"

    Because one day some kid will look up at the sky and say "We Went to the Stars." Not 'they'. We.
  12.  (2145.19)
    @ Zombanoid also

    Watch "Wings of Honneamise", and see if that changes your argument. It's basically a flim about exactly that sort of apathy facing a failing space program in an alternative present, and it treats it all very even handedly.
    • CommentAuthorWilf
    • CommentTimeMay 8th 2008
     (2145.20)
    @Jehrot
    Build a craft superfast outerspace objects are scared of?


    Chuck Norris shaped shuttle?