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Should we be in Space?

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  • Should we be in Space?

    I'm a little rushed at the moment, I'll expand on this thought later.

    Should we, Humans, be expanding into space? we currently posses the technology to sustain ourselves indefinitely in zero gee, high radiation, vacuum conditions and have the capability to create interstellar craft (capable of making round trips in some 40 years). Why are we not expanding and exploiting all around us? it may be prohibitively expensive, but it can only get cheaper.

    What are your thoughts?
    For the Space Queen!

  • #2
    Dont think we can go any where as quick as that yet,otherwise they would be sending satalite systems to the nearest stars already.Having said that as costs come down space is the next ares for man to inevitably expand into.International competition is bound to produce planetary colonies in the next generation or so and ifwe can get the travel times down to the low hundreds of years robot probes to the nearest stars.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Dashy View Post
      I'm a little rushed at the moment, I'll expand on this thought later.

      Should we, Humans, be expanding into space? we currently posses the technology to sustain ourselves indefinitely in zero gee, high radiation, vacuum conditions and have the capability to create interstellar craft (capable of making round trips in some 40 years). Why are we not expanding and exploiting all around us? it may be prohibitively expensive, but it can only get cheaper.

      What are your thoughts?
      I don't think we are as far along with any of those technologies as we need to be to even consider an 'interstellar' mission yet.

      I assume you saw the recent 'Evacuate Earth' program on National Geographic? They assumed we'd have another 75 years to work out the missing tech and that the entire human race was devoted to the effort. Short of that, no, we are not ready yet. We understand many of the concepts and there are proposals that could in theory solve the known problems of sub-light interstellar travel. None of those have been turned into a working technology yet much less a flight-ready technology.
      Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

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      • #4
        We should be taking the nascent steps necessary to fully industrialize the Moon, Mars, Jovian & Saturnian moons, asteroid belt and the L5 orbital shell.

        Within 1,000 years, or so, all of Earth's heavy industries, mineral extraction and energy production could be conducted in space and on extraterrestrial planetary bodies. Even much of our agriculture could be relocated to giant “terrariums” in L5 orbits. The Earth could become a sort of “greentopia.” Of course, we would have to exploit Earth's resources in a very capitalistic fashion over the next several hundred years in order to finance space exploitation.
        Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dashy View Post
          Should we, Humans, be expanding into space?

          What are your thoughts?
          Personally I think it should be done as cheaply as possible and the money saved should be spent on improving life on Earth for less fortunate humans. Doing it cheaply means use of robots / electronics rather than humans and controlling everything from the ground as much as possible. If suitable habitats (breathable atmosphere that does not require a suit etc) are found on other extra-solar-system planets then the technology to reach them should be developed with a view to at least exploring them.
          The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Thomas Jefferson.

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          • #6
            -- Rant Warning --

            Originally posted by Cosmos View Post
            Personally I think it should be done as cheaply as possible and the money saved should be spent on improving life on Earth for less fortunate humans. ...
            This is a criticism of space exploration that dates back to the great space race of the 1960s. The flaw in that thinking is that the money to deal with hunger, poverty, and most other social issues already exists. Americans for example, spend enough on professional sports to feed, cloth, and educate every child in the US who currently lives below the poverty line. Two or three times over, depending on who does the accounting.

            The barriers to dealing with our social problems are themselves social and therefore political in nature. The US Congress is famous for 'throwing money' at problems. Yet in study after study, the US does not come in first in measures of social welfare such as educational achievement or life expectancy.

            Exploration is one of the fundamental features of a robust and forward looking society. For examples of societies that are not forward looking, you need turn no farther than the Middle East. Muslim fundamentalist are actively trying to recreate perceived past glories in a new Caliphate. Arab governments still decry the destruction of the Crusades. The results speak for themselves.

            Space is one of the few remaining frontiers where humans can test their will and ingenuity directly against implacable nature. What we learn makes us bigger people and greater as a species. To turn back from any frontier reduces us, makes us smaller. If we turn away from a challenging future like space, we become less well equipped to deal with other challenges as well. We become a smaller species in our thinking and eventually in our capability. And being diminished, we become less able to deal with difficult social issues as well.

            "If we do not create the future, others will create it for us."
            Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by GCoyote View Post
              This is a criticism of space exploration that dates back to the great space race of the 1960s. The flaw in that thinking is that the money to deal with hunger, poverty, and most other social issues already exists. Americans for example, spend enough on professional sports to feed, cloth, and educate every child in the US who currently lives below the poverty line. Two or three times over, depending on who does the accounting.

              The barriers to dealing with our social problems are themselves social and therefore political in nature. The US Congress is famous for 'throwing money' at problems. Yet in study after study, the US does not come in first in measures of social welfare such as educational achievement or life expectancy.

              Exploration is one of the fundamental features of a robust and forward looking society. For examples of societies that are not forward looking, you need turn no farther than the Middle East. Muslim fundamentalist are actively trying to recreate perceived past glories in a new Caliphate. Arab governments still decry the destruction of the Crusades. The results speak for themselves.

              Space is one of the few remaining frontiers where humans can test their will and ingenuity directly against implacable nature. What we learn makes us bigger people and greater as a species. To turn back from any frontier reduces us, makes us smaller. If we turn away from a challenging future like space, we become less well equipped to deal with other challenges as well. We become a smaller species in our thinking and eventually in our capability. And being diminished, we become less able to deal with difficult social issues as well.

              "If we do not create the future, others will create it for us."
              While your argument is true, space exploration is simply a monetary black hole, and space accomplishments are mostly used by leaders to deflect attention away from failing social programs. It's just another form of bread and circuses.
              Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                While your argument is true, space exploration is simply a monetary black hole, and space accomplishments are mostly used by leaders to deflect attention away from failing social programs. It's just another form of bread and circuses.
                http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/nasacity/index2.htm

                Yep, no good comes from that space exploration

                And didn't they say the same about funding exploration across the Atlantic?
                For the Space Queen!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dashy View Post

                  What are your thoughts?
                  Well I've already given my thoughts - I wasn't really expecting to have to debate them.

                  So far the world has gone along nicely with exploring the land and a little way into the sea. A new era has now begun where 7 billion people inhabit this planet. It would be better to try to bring up the living standards of those less fortunate than to be dreaming of far away planets. There are much more down to earth problems to be solved.

                  Some good may have come from research done in space but who can say that other research done more cheaply on Earth couldn't have been as beneficial ?

                  The US has a debt problem that may take more than a generation to solve. Wouldn't it be better to do everything possible to reduce spending now ? The same goes for other countries that may not yet have a debt problem.
                  The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Thomas Jefferson.

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                  • #10
                    http://gizmodo.com/5942634/nasa-star...=recirculation


                    Whats that?

                    10 times light speed?

                    now we just need to find us some exotic matter
                    For the Space Queen!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dashy View Post
                      http://gizmodo.com/5942634/nasa-star...=recirculation


                      Whats that?

                      10 times light speed?

                      now we just need to find us some exotic matter
                      Don't start holding your breath just yet
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exotic_...#Negative_mass
                      Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

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                      • #12
                        Space means space...to put things in, like nuclear waste, burdensome populations, and prisons.
                        ------
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                        • #13
                          It would cost a fortune to house inmates in orbit. Unless they do something productive, but robots would still be cheaper. What if our nuclear waste dumps become meteorites that come back to Earth? That would surely be an ironic turn of events. Who's burdensome? Perhaps all those hoity toity people driving their huge 5 mpg SUVs everywhere by themselves and who use water so that their fountains and pools are always flowing. Who have houses in every continent, large yachts, private jets, etc... Should we kick them out into space or all those millions of people who cannot find enough to eat?
                          The Europa Barbarorum II team [M2TW] needs YOUR HELP NOW HERE!

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                          • #14
                            Do you enjoy the benefits of GPS?

                            How about cell/mobile phones?

                            Near instant Global communications and news?

                            Just a few of the spin-offs from earlier space exploration tech.

                            PCs and iPads, result of miniature ICs driven by weight concerns for payloads in former years/decades of the "Space Program".

                            We live in a world possible because of the past half-century of space exploration, both crewed and robotic. Our current efforts on Mars would yield 10 times or more results if we had a combination of orbital and surface resources with human crews at/on that planet.

                            Groundpounders have their say and rights admittedly, but should at least acknowledge the benefits and gains here from efforts spent at and beyond LowEarthOrbit/LEO. The future isn't in remaining dirt bound Earthside, but rather in "reaching for the stars" , where the new frontiers and opportunities abound.
                            As the late and great Robert Heinlein oft said; 'LEO is halfway to anywhere in the Universe!'
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                            TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
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                            • #15
                              What would be the effects of dumping waste products into the sun as a means of disposal? Can't see that coming back to haunt us, unless the SyFy channel knows something I don't.
                              The First Amendment applies to SMS, Emails, Blogs, online news, the Fourth applies to your cell phone, computer, and your car, but the Second only applies to muskets?

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