Commercialization of Space gets a nice shot in the arm

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Mr. Anderson, Jan 29, 2004.

  1. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #1
  2. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #2
    Why is it that we as a human race feel the need to spread our litter across everything we can touch?

    I have done backpacking and the saying goes "pack it in, pack it out". Even the US Forest Service has a program of "Treading Lightly" to have minimal impact on the environment when off-roading.

    In the case of space exploration, it is hard not leave leave things behind. Probes to other planets and beyond are a case in point. At least with the Voyager (i believe) had a message to convey on who/what ever may find it.

    The Apollo Moon missions left behind experiments and the Lunar Lander base. But they also left behind golf balls, hammers thrown to make a point, initials left in the lunar dirt, and trash.

    Now we have a company that wants to litter the moon with vanity stuff. Maybe it is better that we never reach beyond our solar system. And maybe never being able to send anything other than probes to places beyond our Moon.

    Don't get me wrong I am not some tree hugger. Yet I have a respect for our resources here on Earth and the rest of the universe.

    Have we not learned anything from the green-house effect, the ozone layer, strip-mining, and landfills to capacity? Must we now pay to litter the Moon?
     
  3. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #3
    It's great that someone's doing this, but the idea of littering up the Moon for vanities sake is pretty disturbing. Whatever doesn't burrow into the ground will get splayed all over the surface. At least there isn't any wind around to blow stuff. When Team Bush lands on the Moon, they can walk around with those little pointy sticks and pick up all the trash...
     
  4. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #4
    The commercialization of space has to begin somewhere. I hope that the Fall launch will be successful. Who knows, even I could afford the $17 to send a text message to the moon. At least that shouldn't add to the pollution.
     
  5. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #5
    Did you understand what that meant?

    If a text message is sent to the Moon and there's nobody there to receive it, does it get read? :confused:

    I can grab a megaphone and give my shout out to the Moon anytime I want, but I might get arrested... :p

    Perhaps it's a little line of microtype?
     
  6. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    Ah, but I think of it more like a time capsule. One day someone in the future will find the the thing, with all its junk. Which by then will be worth a pretty penny. And then they either put it in the Moon Historical Museum or sell it on eBay for a million space bucks :D

    I'm much more interested in the video and imagery - that's exciting stuff. I'd love to have a poster of the Apollo landing site.

    D
     
  7. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Then onwards to Mars for untold billions of dollars to pick up the litter there....
     
  8. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #8
    Speaking of Mars. Did you know that NASA inadvertently trashed the plans/schematics for the Saturn 5 rocket sometime during the 70's or 80's. That could be a problem as it's the only craft ever created that has taken people to the moon...

    Bushwhacked is making it sound (and getting disallusionists to believe) like we'll toss a few guys in a speedy craft the size and shape of which are somewhere between an F-16 and the Space Shuttle and then zoom straight to the Moon and Mars on hyperdrive.
     
  9. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #9
    I am surprised that the Saturn V plans are no longer. To me they should have been part of the national legacy. But then again Nixon was in office by then.

    To be honest, if such a project to the Moon and beyond is to be undertaken we need new thinking, just as during the "race to the moon in the 60's".

    IMO if Bush was looking for a Kennedy moment he missed it. Unless he can show us like he did in Iraq that weapons of mass destruction are on the moon (but given the advisors he has who knows); he has missed the whole point.

    It is beginning to look like that G. W. Bush inhaled....
     
  10. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #10
    Ok, good points, but lets not let this turn into a political discussion - there is already a thread on Space Politics.

    D
     
  11. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #11
    I agree that there is some very valuable memorabilia on the Moon. It should be kept on the Moon in a museum for future generations. These items belong to the American people and should not end up on eBay. No individual or corporation should profit from theses items.
     
  12. zamyatin macrumors regular

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    #12
    I know it's a joke, but you do recall that GWB was an alcoholic (no hyperbole here, he had more than a drinking problem, he had alcoholism) for well over a decade? Possibly two? And, he also has used cocaine. (Wow, if he had to follow his own rules, he'd be in jail for life!)

    And as for the moon, this mission sounds dubious to me, though I am enthusiastic about future Lunar bases and even colonies.

    In some ways, outer space is a perfect home for humans. We're evolved for tree-dwelling, which is a rough simulation of weightlessness (consider how much better we do in space, with our prehensile hands, than a dog or cat or horse would, for example). Citizens of our advanced industrial societies spend almost zero time in natural environments, or even outside at all -- cars don't count -- so space habitats would not be much different. Finally, there are no native life forms in space, on the moon, the asteroids, and maybe on Mars, that we would be destroying by colonizing those places. There's nothing to kill, which is good, considering our reckless nature! In fact, some day we may want to turn Earth into a park, and run our whole civilization in the freeing expanse of the Solar System.
     
  13. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #13
    That might be the case for the moon - but Mars or one of the larger moons of Jupiter or Saturn might have an ecosystem. We need to worry about our impact in any environment, regardless of where it is. If not for ourselves, but for our descendants - their the ones who'll get to clean up after us.

    The idea of making the earth a global park has some great appeal, but this is something that would have to happen millennia from now :D

    D
     
  14. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #14
    Having friends in recovery I understand that my comments can be looked at in multiple ways. And i apologize if it offended anyone.

    In respect to Mr. Anderson i was not looking to make this a political discussion. There are aspects to this discussion that cross the boundaries. there has been a push under the Clinton and Bush administrations to try to get private money to explore and make a commercial success of space.

    To send vanity "trash" to the moon is wrong in my mind. To have a company profit form research in zero or low gravity situations is a different matter all together. This news deals with sending "trash" to the moon. And that is wrong again in my mind.
     
  15. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #15
    I agree. Even with the Moon how can we be so sure that there is not something that our current level of science has not yet seen?

    Even without an "ecosystem" as most of us understand it, should we be allowed to foul other satellites and planets for our own satisfaction?
     
  16. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #16
    I was thinking also of radiation, in particular, and the moon. If we have fission or fusion power up there (most likely eventually) there's going to be waste. So what do we do with it? It will become as big a problem as it is here on Earth.

    D
     
  17. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #17
    At least it won't leak into the water table...
     
  18. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #18
    I'm guessing that by the time we have a nuclear waste problem on the moon, we'll be able to send vast containers of it hurtling into the sun. I don't imagine it would be too much of a problem there.
     
  19. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #19
    Not necessarily true - if we go up there in the next 20 years and use nuclear power, it might not be as feasible to launch the stuff off the moon and into the Sun. It will be nice when we can do that - but the budget is going to be really tight - it will be easier to put them in barrels and leave them on the surface for someone else to deal with them in the future :D

    D
     
  20. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #20
    I think a nuclear powered rocket for carrying people is a bit optimistic for the next 20 years. If we're back on the Moon in 20 years with a new craft of any sort, I'll consider that a success. The Moon's gravity is only 1/6th that of the Earth, so launching waste shouldn't be as big of problem as keeping Earth's gravity from getting ahold of it and bringing it home.
     
  21. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #21
    It is funny how things from our past seem to come back on us. At the start of the computer revolution in the late 70's early 80's I had a boss that subscribed to the idea that every form of technology has its own pollution.

    I have always remembered that.
     
  22. srobert macrumors 68020

    srobert

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    #22
    I'm no scientist or engineer, simply a Sci-Fi fan, but would'nt building a Mass driver on the moon (1/6th gravity) be simpler than building a Fusion plant?

    I guess it all depends on what breakthrough we'll achieve first. Fusion or real super conductors (no loss at varying ambiant temperature)

    Are superconducters even needed to build a mass driver capable of hurling a 1 ton (earth tons ^_^) container off the gravity pull of the moon? Getting it to the sun will then be in the simpler realm of actual mathematics.

    My... I'm way off topic now. :eek:
     
  23. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #23
    I wasn't thinking about getting to the moon on nukes, but powering the colony/bases while on the surface.

    The lunar day is about 28 earth days, that means night on the moon is ~14days long - no sun light, you'll need power of some sort to keep systems running.

    It'd be nice to have water as a fuel, but its a huge waste, especially if you have a small nuclear generator for the night to suppliment day time generated power.

    Now the time spent in the dark will also depend on where you set up a base. For telescopes, a nice deep crater on the poles that never sees daylight would be great - but you'd not have solar power for anything down there.

    D
     
  24. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #24
    How about 3125 miles of cable to a solar array on the other side? :D

    (and just because your base is inside the crater doesn't mean your solar panels have to be!)
     
  25. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #25
    very true - and power beaming from lunar oribit is another option - but those are much more costly and time intensive than putting a small nuclear generator up there.

    When it comes down to it, money is still to bottom line...:D

    D
     

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