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Danger Will Robinson! Danger!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Nettdata, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. Nettdata

    Nettdata
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    Space travel rocks.

    Especially the privateer efforts that have been going on with Scaled Composites (Virgin Galactic), and SpaceX.

    Hell, RIGHT FUCKING NOW, SpaceX is in a countdown for their Falcon9 Spaceship to launch from the Cape.



    You can view a live webcast here: <a class="postlink" href="http://www.spacex.com/webcast.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.spacex.com/webcast.php</a>


    And then you have those crazy Japanese that want to set up a robotic moon base by 2020.

    <a class="postlink" href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20006075-1.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20006075-1.html</a>




    FOCUS: Discuss space exploration. What should our short and long term plans be? What's good with what we're doing now? What's bad?
     

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  2. Nitwit

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    I think Dennis Hoff needs to get off his ass and open up a Bunny Ranch franchise on the moon. I really want to play with mammoth boobs in a zero gravity environment.
     
  3. Kubla Kahn

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    I forger the article I was reading but the fact that the government has had a death grip on space outside of the area reserved for commercial satellites has actually slowed many advances that could have happened otherwise. I know NASA and its programs had a profound effect on the children and peoples imaginations of the 60's-70's. At some point though there should be a shift towards private industry exploring space. It would hard to go much further without turning into a political debate since the current climate in regards to NASA and its budget are so heated.


    p.s. I used to love to watch Lost in Space on the SciFi channel back in the day. Good times.
     
  4. whathasbeenseen

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    Shit on me. Space has always been exciting to me. Joe Rogan said on Happy Shiny Jihad something about how we're on a rock flying through the galaxy and it hardly comes up. Above us are stars creating countless nuclear explosions but rare that we think about it.

    On that note I was reading an article that I can't find for the life of me speaking of the Japanese who have an idea to put an up to 4 kilometer wide ribbon on the light side of the moon to collect solar energy which by their estimation could power the entire planet since the moon is free from atmosphere. The next 20 years or so are going to be amazing with regard to exploration of our own solar system.
     
  5. kuhjäger

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    I know the article you are talking about I think. It was written by Bob something, who has a very anti Nasa agenda that apparently stems from the fact that Nasa wouldn't hire him because he was a piss poor engineer.

    Private space launches of LEO satellites is about all we will see. Lets face it, an interplanetary probe requires such a large rocket just to lift it out of LEO, not to mention hundreds of hundreds of million dollars spent on something that can go BOOM on the launchpad, and can produce no profit is something that is going to have to be reserved for entities that can provide the capital for that, ie the government.

    What needs to be done to actually bring about true exploration of space, manned and unmanned is to start a massive hiring binge at Nasa. Bring in the best and brightest, and have them working on projects away from the bureaucratically minded scientists that infest that place now, and then eventually start to get rid of the old school guys. We need people who are willing to be bold and take some risks.

    I would expound upon this but I have a damn budget meeting.
     
  6. Crown Royal

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    The only thing that peaks my interest is that the Voyageur will be entering interstellar space in about ten years, which could be cool. A big yawn to anything else.

    As far as space travel goes, give up and stop lighting the billions and billions of dollars on fire until you can invent some cool Star Trek-type shit. I could give a rat's ass if we land on Mars ever, and everyone should feel the same way. It's just a gigantic version of Northern Arizona, so what the hell is so important about it?
     
  7. Nettdata

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    Because it's MARS.

    And it has cool canals on it that you can skate on.

    Fuck interstellar space... what can we do with that?

    Well, except find this, of course:

    [​IMG]

    I'd rather see a moon or mars base set up before I die.
     
  8. mad5427

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    Problem is, the only way you can invent the cool Star Trek-type shit that makes it worthwhile is by lighting up the billions and billions of dollars. A bit of a catch-22.

    I'm actually all for the privatization of space exploration. Anytime you get multiple people competing and working towards a goal, the result is usually cheaper and more efficient products and processes. Space travel is going to develop exponentially in the coming years due to the funding coming from private sources who stand to benefit financially from their breakthroughs. Out with the old shuttle bullshit and in with the companies who, I think, will develop cheaper ways to get up there so that mere mortals can do it and not break the bank. We'll all benefit from this. I don't see that last bit anytime soon, but towards the end of my life, I see trips into orbit being on par with the costs of climbing Everest, etc. Still very expensive, but not out of reach for a decent amount of people.

    As for exploring Mars. I just think that it's the next step in venturing further and further out there. I just read about a star/planet/something that is the size of our sun. It's a god damned diamond. It's a trillion billion billion carets or some such nonsense. That's a big fucking diamond. I can't even fathom what's out there that if we are ever capable of reaching or exploring, we might be able to utilize in some way to help us here.
     
  9. Lasersailor

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    Space Travel will not advance until we find some sort of Magic Fuel. Be it Berilium Spheres, or Cold Fusion, Space Travel will never get past the fact that it takes an extreme volume and weight of fuel to get anything into space off the earth.

    This isn't considering the extreme distances between planets and stars, and the relative slow speed we can (currently) travel.

    Besides your standard satellite research / defending earth from giant asteroid with oil drillers, I think all research should be focused on finding this fuel. Or inventing it. Or bartering it off the nearest passing spaceship.
     
  10. kuhjäger

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    BUT

    [​IMG]


    Mars is....... no place...................................to raise a kid
     
  11. Suit Jacket

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    There is an interesting theory of sending a nuclear reactor to Mars first. It could use the CO2 in Mars' atmosphere to prepare fuel. Then, the mission to Mars would only be required to carry enough fuel to get there. Once there, it could refuel for the way home. It is an interesting work-around to the fuel issue; though even launching a ship with enough fuel to get to Mars is a huge effort.
     
  12. Stealth

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    Going anywhere further than Mars with current technology requires too much payload in terms of food, water etc and would take around 10 years or more (from memory) , so do you put the astronauts in suspended animation or do they slowly go mad with the tedium and boredom or get cabin fever and kill each other.
     
  13. walt

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    I'd be happy to just see another moon landing. I imagine with the sattelite and television technology we have now, we'd get vastly better images than back in the 60's. Pretty sure I heard that idea got put on hold though.
     
  14. KIMaster

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    Let's assume for a moment that the tremendous cost and difficulty in going from point A to point B isn't an issue.

    Well, "space exploration" in the sense of having man-piloted flights or colonization still encounters major problems, now or even 100 years into the future. Namely, the effects of being in space for a period of a few months have a very severe and deleterious effect on human health.

    Actually, Wikipedia has a pretty good write-up for the International Space Station;

    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Space_Station#Exercise" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internatio ... n#Exercise</a>

    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Space_Station#Radiation" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internatio ... #Radiation</a>

    If you mean "space exploration" in the sense of finding out more about our universe thanks to recent and brand new breakthroughs related to telescope technology, then absolutely, I think that's an exciting and fruitful field. Doesn't cost much, either.
     
  15. Lasersailor

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    Gravity exists out in space. Basically, it doesn't exist in orbit. This is because you are constantly falling. The old saying of "Throwing yourself at earth and missing" holds true. The acceleration out to another planet or another system would give more resistance.


    The reason this has been true for all of Earth's manned space flights is because they haven't done anything BUT orbital space exploration.
     
  16. KIMaster

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    Pretty sure a fundamental force doesn't magically stop existing in orbit. It's much, much weaker at certain points of the circular path in orbit, of course, but it's still there. And at this point, there really isn't an alternative for space exploration.

    Even if there was, the gravity felt traveling through a Solar System is still relatively small compared to the Earth's surface, causing the exact same problems in the first link. And the mere lack of gravity is unrelated to the insane radiation levels mentioned in the second one.
     
  17. Lasersailor

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    I didn't explain myself well enough. The astronauts in orbit are in a constant state of freefall. The reason they suffer degeneration of their bodies is because they are falling for 3 days on out to years if they are in the Space Station.

    They are experiencing both gravity and the velocity needed to keep them in orbit. There is no real angular acceleration because there is no change in velocity or gravity.

    However, that isn't necessarily so for outter space travel. Assuming we have the magic fuel like I said, it'd be easy enough to keep accelerating through space to our destination, allowing the astronauts some form of gravity. Then when the astronauts are getting there you can use the deceleration as another form of gravity.
     
  18. Solaris

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    You're actually mistaken there. Velocity is speed with direction. A shuttle orbiting the earth is at constant acceleration towards the earth. I think the term you're looking for is angular frequency to describe it's 'speed'.

    You're being too liberal with the term gravity there too. Whilst acceleration gives the 'illusion or effects of gravity', it is still essentically a zero gravity environment, although not behaving like one.
     
  19. PeaMan

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    Yeh, constant acceleration is fine because there is no universal speed limit ... oh wait...

    In order to create a fake gravity environment the best thing to do is have a spinning system.

    I have recently put a lot of thought into space exploration and general understanding of the universe as I have been studying some astrophysics . I keep on getting caught between 2 points of view, the first being the standard curiosity of wanting to know about space. The second is wondering if at this point space exploration is really worth it. We can get little to no human benefit (beyond a better understanding of how the universe works) from going into space at this stage of our development. Assuming some understanding is gained it is only going to be for the very few who actually get it - so what real benefits are there?

    Do we need a reason for space exploration? I am not sure on this one. What I am sure of is that I will keep looking for job opportunities at NASA once I have my physics degree, because being a rocket scientist for NASA would be fucking awesome.
     
  20. KIMaster

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    Actually, Lasersailor is not mistaken; he's absolutely correct. There are two components to the acceleration; the angular one, which is zero (since the angular speed is constant), and the centripetal one, which is obviously non-zero, since the velocity is changing at every point in the orbit.

    Ultimately, the conclusion is that there is no easy way to simulate gravity in space, and regardless of whether you're in orbit or not, the force you feel is massively less than on Earth, causing all the severe medical problems mentioned on the first page.

    Really? How exactly will we get "a better understanding of how the universe works" from manned (or even unmanned) space flights? I hear this quote repeated again and again by non-scientists, and it just doesn't make any sense.

    All of our knowledge comes from telescopes and spectral analysis, which gives us exact details about the exact chemical composition of other planets, stars, etc., as well as their location, changes over time, etc.

    The human lunar landing, the Mars Rover mission...those contributed nothing to our understanding of anything.

    Just because of the title, or because you see it as being a great environment to do meaningful research in? There are guys doing original, interesting work on topics not directly related to space exploration (like cosmology, various properties of air pressure, etc.), but it's no different than working in that field at a university, or for a company like Boeing.

    And just like those other places, there are a sizable proportion of dumbasses who do completely useless and stupid shit.

    So ultimately, it's no different than any of the other alternatives a quality astrophysics grad has.