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      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2009
     (5884.141)
    Muahah!

    Or perhaps something more like "Hell's Astronaut," with Gordon Ramsey yelling at them in zero gravity.
  1.  (5884.142)
    So the eliminated people get airlocked?
    •  
      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2009
     (5884.143)
    Yes, there's a thought. You start off the contest by sending all the contestants up to the space station, say a dozen of them, but only enough air and food for the final three.
    • CommentAuthorlooneynerd
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2009
     (5884.144)
    Twelve men enter, one man leaves.

    SPACEDOME!
  2.  (5884.145)
    ^ Spacedome? Sounds too much like Biodome. Then again, having Pauly Shore as one of the 12 could be horrifically interesting.
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      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2009 edited
     (5884.146)
    You could have amusing little challenges, like taking a spacewalk to repair the solar panels, to earn an extra food bar or cannister of oxygen.

    Or really, just set the cameras running and let things sort themselves out. The one who's left will be perfectly suited to spending months alone in space.
    • CommentAuthorpoor_boy
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2009
     (5884.147)
    space people need love too
  3.  (5884.148)
    I remember when Timothy Leary was pushing his Human-Evolution-via-Space-Migration scenario (promoted as well by Robert Anton Wilson). My college friends and I poured over all that, hoping for tangible signs of Evolution in our lifetime. Then Leary discovered the Internet, and "Exopsychology" became "Infopsychology".

    I'd like to vacation in Space, but probably not live there.
  4.  (5884.149)
    Twelve men enter, one man leaves.

    More like ten cadets enter... wait, where'd that extra guy come from?
    • CommentAuthorlooneynerd
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2009
     (5884.150)
    "From now on, we live in a world where man has walked on the moon. And it's not a miracle, we just decided to go."

    That's a quote from the film Apollo 13. I dunno if Jim Lovell actually said it. But it makes me mad that despite the technological ability to do it, there's a good chance we won't put a man on mars before I die.
    •  
      CommentAuthorbjacques
    • CommentTimeMay 25th 2009
     (5884.151)
    @loonynerd:

    Unless the world econony really collapses and we're fighting over bullets and canned food for our talking dogs, or else survive the flu and either start dreaming of Boulder, Colorado, or Las Vegas, or get hit by a comet and have to fend off hordes of Black Muslims, then you'll probably live to see someone land on Mars. *I'll* probably live to see it, like I saw the moon landing (or splashown, can't really remember).

    I think Bolden has it right. With the money it has now or is likely to get anytime soon, NASA has to place its bets where they're most likely to pay off. Sending astronauts back to the moon is a good medium-term project and is within NASA's capabilities. Going further, repeatedly, requires an infrastructure we don't have yet but could have if there is an international, long-term commitment and some sort of public/private partnership on an equally large scale. We're partway there on dealing with global climate change, so a global space effort is feasible.

    You have to have vision and commitment. Both Bushes tried for the "vision thing" by announcing, respectively, a US space station and an expedition to Mars. Neither vision included any cohesive plan behind it. It was only about winning the votes of engineers. For the space station, the US didn't have any big rockets to spare, and the money would have come out of existing programs like planetary probes. The only way to do it was with Russia and a few other partners. That was a tough sell because the Cold War had just ended and some people thought the USSR was faking its collapse (Some of my fellow NASA engineers actually believed this). Similarly, the mission to Mars, which was only an idea, is being tossed aside for now, as it should be. Paying for it would have meant cancelling the Hubble rescue mission. I don't remember Clinton having any vision as such, but I think he did a good job of bolting together the partnership that made the International Space Station possible. It went unappreciated, because most engineers, especially ones at NASA, were (are?) conservative.

    What I said about going to Mars for fun is only partially true about going to the moon. Getting a toehold on the moon, if planned well, can be part of the infrastructure that enables us to get to Mars. Do it right and keep the stunts to a minimum, and not only will humankind get to Mars, but, more importantly, *you* could get there.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeMay 25th 2009
     (5884.152)
    "*I'll* probably live to see it, like I saw the moon landing (or splashown, can't really remember)."

    I remember walking home from school in daylight and seeing the pale ghost of the moon in the sky above me and putting out a hand at arm's length and blocking the moon from view with a single finger and realising that there were actual real human beings on that tiny, faint part-sphere,.
  5.  (5884.153)
    Sorry I'm relatively late to this discussion, but I'm curious what you all think about the possibilities of nanotechnology on space travel and exploration, especially as it pertains to the proposed manned trips to the moon and Mars. It's been a number of years since I read up on nanotech, but I recall a lot of talk that within about fifty years we should have the ability to vastly reduce the space needed for many mechanical/electronic systems in space craft due to the precision of nanotech allowing us to create ultra-efficient engines, circuits, etc. Surely this could potentially play into aforementioned methods of getting items into space from earth and across the solar system from orbit/the moon?
    • CommentAuthorFan
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2009
     (5884.154)
    > Every read Freeman Dyson's essays “Human Consequences of the Exploration of Space” and "The Greening of the Galaxy"?

    In his book _Disturbing the Universe_, he compared the reliability of motorcycles with the reliability of nuclear reactors: and said that motorcycles are far more reliable, because so many different makes and models of motorcycle have been built since they were first invented, and, so they have evolved. Whereas with nuclear reactors we're still only on the first few generations, so they're primitive.

    For space travel, he said that the _Mayflower_ was privately financed; and that for colonization, potential colonists can/will afford (save or borrow) about as much as a person is able to earn in one lifetime. At today's prices, I think that means that we'd see significant numbers of colonists spending their own money to get there, if the cost were something like 1 million to ten million dollars per person.
    • CommentAuthorlooneynerd
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2009
     (5884.155)
    I don't think we'll see individual colonist paying to go to these places. Not unless, that is, there is serious opportunity to improve their lives (much like the colonist to the Americas). I think it's far more likely that we'll see people getting paid to go there that are desperate for work and such.
    • CommentAuthor/
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2009
     (5884.156)
    Have these colonies been built yet?
    • CommentAuthorlooneynerd
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2009
     (5884.157)
    ...I think it's pretty obvious that no, no they have not.
  6.  (5884.158)
    I agree that space exploration is the future, BUT...

    A) Why are we going up there? Simply to go? I enjoy vacations as much as the next man, but if I can't afford them I stay home. Can America afford to send astronauts on vacation up there in the current economical crunch?

    It's one thing to load up a bunch of sailors unto a few ships and tell them to go off discover a new continent and loot it for slaves and gold, quite another to go colonize a barren lump of rock just because said lump of rock exists. There's plenty of room on Earth as is, and more if we decide to throw money at the problem (reclaim deserts, underwater colonies, etc).

    B) Why *Aren't* we going up there? Is it a propulsion problem? Throw money at it. It is fuel? Throw money at it. Is it training? Throw money at it.

    Pretty much any problem can be fixed if you throw enough money at it. Rushing off into space just for face time is a rich country's game, and I don't think anyone's all that rich these days.

    Perhaps the truckload of money spent on trying to get aging space shuttles up there would be better spent developing new space shuttle technologies down here. Perhaps the problem is that NASA is betting on the wrong horse.

    Also, perhaps this 5 year waiting time is benefic. Perhaps it will allow newer technologies to be incorporated into the new shuttle, instead of hammering new stuff piecemeal into the old shuttles.

    I also understand the logic behind why tried and true technologies are prefered to new, not-long-in-the-market-yet ones. But that didn't stop one space shuttle going boom. Under that logic we'd all be flying in B-52's because they use "tried and true technology". NASA's been throwing stuff up there for decades, you'd expect them to understand exactly what dangers a space shuttle faces and plan accordingly for them with new and improved technologies. Preferebly ones that make the shuttle safer and trips up and down cheaper.
    •  
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJul 20th 2009
     (5884.159)
    Perhaps the truckload of money spent on trying to get aging space shuttles up there would be better spent developing new space shuttle technologies down here. Perhaps the problem is that NASA is betting on the wrong horse.


    Actually, NASA is retiring the Shuttle fleet next year, to switch over to the Ares I, a Saturn V-like rocket. The Ares V, if approved, will be what gets us back to the moon. So they've switched horses pretty definitely.

    It's one thing to load up a bunch of sailors unto a few ships and tell them to go off discover a new continent and loot it for slaves and gold, quite another to go colonize a barren lump of rock just because said lump of rock exists.


    Well, call me idealistic, but I think the second reason is a hell of a lot better than the first.
    • CommentAuthorlooneynerd
    • CommentTimeJul 20th 2009
     (5884.160)
    @subversiveagent

    "we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too." -John F. Kennedy

    And no, when early exploration started in the 14th and 15th centuries, they didn't know what was out there; they had no idea about what they would find, and the ones that did were basing it more on theory than anything else. They just went with the hope of finding new resources and ways to get rich; similar to how many of us feel about Space Exploration now.