The problem with Golden Spike is that I have yet to see a single customer. A nice idea in theory, in practice they aren't going to the Moon yet.
I hope that changes.
The problem with Golden Spike is that I have yet to see a single customer. A nice idea in theory, in practice they aren't going to the Moon yet.
I hope that changes.
I would love to see the tank that holds F2 for anything longer than a few minutes or perhaps hours.
Seriously, as Florine is one nasty chemical that eats its way through almost anything. It eats through glass for crying out loud. I agree it might be a more efficient mixture, but there are some damn good reasons it isn't used, mostly dealing with reality and building actual vehicles rather than something on paper.
When Kennedy made his famous "We choose to go to the moon" speech, the USA had exactly 1 successful manned spaceflight
Still one more than Space X. That and the power to print money without breaking the law.
The only thing keeping SpaceX from sending people up into space on the Dragon is the lack of approval by the U.S. government, specifically the FAA-AST. I believe Elon Musk when he points out that putting seats in the Dragon and launching it with a crew on the next CRS flight (which will be in a couple of weeks) would already be safer than it was for the astronauts traveling on the Space Shuttle.
There is a launch escape system that SpaceX has currently in development, and is going to perform a test of that system later on this year. It is going to happen soon enough that it is reasonable to check regularly with the Patrick AFB website or upcoming NASA flights for more details.
Someone going to a small colony on Mars would be no different from Polynesians crossing oceans or people packing up and moving across the continent in 1800s.
If Mars was like California, that would be true.
If you are going to use California as an example, keep in mind that the original Spanish settlement of Buena Vista (modern-day Los Angeles) completely died out because everybody died from starvation and thirst from a lack of water. The only way California is able to sustain its current population is strictly because it can import a large amount of its food from elsewhere (in spite of being a net food exporter as a state) and because of the technology which sustains the current population of the state.
California is in fact proof that through the use of advanced technology we can take an inhospitable wilderness which is determined to kill off everybody who lives there and turn it into a place where morons and idiots can survive and thrive.
Perhaps my ancestors (who were some early residents of California) did too good of a job teraforming California and making it a nice place to live. I promise that the Polynesians traveling from Tonga or Samoa and made the trip to Hawaii would not have been capable of setting up a survivable settlement in the Los Angeles basin at the same time Hawaii was first being settled.
The same argument can be used for sending cows into space, or muffins, or lighthouses. Why would you send a lighthouse into space? Because it's there.
Who says that cows, muffins, or lighthouses won't be in space? I can see practical reasons for sending all three.
A lighthouse in space might not look like a lighthouse on the Earth, but can and will exist in some form in the future.
Try for a better example, because this one has utterly failed.
So technically he is an African-American?
At least he has as good of a claim to that title as anybody else who uses the term. He just lacks the dark skin, as if that mattered for anything.
I imagine it has something to do with the fact that It takes considerably less energy to escape Earth entirely than to go into even a low orbit.
That isn't entirely true. Just as the Apollo missions did a brief orbit around the Earth immediately after launch but before TLI (trans-lunar injection), there is no reason to avoid going to LEO and does not require any additional energy. What does cost energy is to perform an orbital plane change to go to the ISS, which is set at an orbital inclination that made it easier to launch from Kazakhstan, thus it is less than ideal for a launch from either Florida or from the ESA launch facility in French Guiana. Both of those launch locations have been used for vehicles sent to dock with the ISS (obviously the Space Shuttle, but other stuff too), so it isn't too hard but it does cause some problems.
The nice thing about even a temporary LEO maneuver is that you can do a quick check of your systems, consider possibly an abort back to the Earth if necessary, and you don't need a very tight launch window as you can wait for the insertion point while already in space to reignite the engines for the trans-Mars injection which also sends you to escape velocity.
If you could put a space station as a rendezvous point for some in-space construction (even if just docking components sent on multiple launches), there may be some merit to that as well, but it will still cost a little bit of fuel for performing the rendezvous maneuvers and does make the mission a bit more complex at the beginning. Von Braun was a strong advocate for the idea when planning to go to the Moon (the "Earth Rendezvous" concept), so it isn't without a precedent either.
I am a big fan of the Aldrin Cyclers myself. It removes the need for a huge rocket going to Mars as you only need enough of a spacecraft + supplies to get to a vehicle relatively near the Earth, and then the cycling vehicle will provide ample radiation protection and all of the room you need to be comfortable. Basically, you could live in what amounts to be luxury accommodations in a cruise ship complete with artificial gravity (via a spinning torus or at least some spin). It requires building some infrastructure, but you don't have to die with the rocket equation keeping you from sending what you need. That is the best place to have a space-only vehicle instead of in LEO as well.
Solar City has decided to get into the panel/cell manufacturing business? That is news to me, as it is a very rough and competitive market that until now they've deliberately stayed out of because of the cut-throat competition and even industrial espionage going on with that industry.
What Solar City does perform is total system integration and installation.
I'd love to put one of the Solar City systems on my house, but unfortunately they haven't been able or willing to deal with my state government yet, in spite of several neighboring states who do have installation programs and sales reps. I guess I need to be patient.
Elon Musk and Robert Bigelow have been able to get together. In fact, Bigelow Aerospace has a couple flights on the SpaceX manifest, with a flight that is scheduled for some time next year (assuming SpaceX can push through some of its current customers that are scheduled for this year). I can only imagine that with a flight coming up so soon that the hardware which is going to fly on that rocket is near completion if not already finished.
The largest hang-up right now for Robert Bigelow is that he is insisting on at least two different launch vehicles for passengers and crew made by different companies, both made in America flying on American hardware. In addition to the SpaceX Dragon (which still needs FAA-AST approval for commercial crew flights), there is the Boeing CST-100 that Robert Bigelow has dumped some money into as a joint partnership with Boeing. There are other companies developing spacecraft which could work as well, so it may turn out there may be multiple options for sending crews into space in the near future.
Both the CST-100 and the Dragon are on the fast track to supplying crew flights for NASA astronauts to the ISS, so I think FAA-AST approval is going to be mostly pro forma once NASA has given their thumbs up. In other words, crewed space stations operated by Bigelow Aerospace is going to be happening very soon, at least within this decade if not on a much shorter time frame.
I think it is a stretch to even suggest that Mars One is a backup plan to SpaceX. At best I would put Inspiration Mars (Dennis Tito's project) in that realm, assuming Mr. Tito goes anywhere with his project as well.
I saw a Reddit conversation with the guys of Mars One that showed they really knew almost nothing about the technical side of things, and sort of thought they could magically buy anything they needed to get the job done. That might work for something such as an Antarctic expedition where the tools and experience of going there has already been done and is in large scale production for other purposes, but it doesn't work for going well beyond the frontier of human experience.
At least SpaceX has put stuff into space, where photos like this are something that their equipment has actually taken. The guys with Mars One have been no higher than what you can get with a commercial jetliner, and that is as a passenger as well. I like big dreams, but either company needs to unfortunately produce much of the equipment needed for going to Mars in-house as nobody else is even making the stuff necessary. SpaceX knows how to make stuff that works in space and has stuff in space right now to show it can get the job done. What does Mars One even have?
India has more than a `homeless` problem; I don't see how you can equate the two, unless you're rather willfully ignoring the massive problems India is turning its back on to fund these `we're in the space-age club too` extravagances.
At some point India needs to leave the "we is stupid 'n need your money 'cause we dn't know better" attitude. If there is something that India needs, it is to give its people the freedom to do whatever it is that they do best and stop trying to coddle them. Defend people's right to life, liberty, and property but otherwise stay out of their affairs and let them succeed rather than making everybody a charity case.
I currently live in a place that a century ago was far more destitute and a much more harsh climate with a lack of basic resources than the poorest village in India right now. A century and a half ago the people here were so destitute that many starved to death and died from exposure, partly because of being driven out of their homes at gunpoint and forced to migrate hundreds of miles to live in a place that was largely depopulated because even nomadic hunter-gatherers had to move on due to drought. I don't think there is any excuse for India not to be able to solve its problems in due time, and in the meantime they have the resources and the capability of being able to send stuff into space too.
India certainly doesn't need your pity. It is gradually solving its problems over time and they are certainly not insurmountable.
With all of the problems that exist in India, I don't see how they are going to get it done. Even if they do, at what ultimate cost? I think of all those who will suffer as a result of a government fools errand.
While I will admit India has some problems, they are an emerging country and certainly not the destitute poor that you are making it out to be. I also admire the Indian space program as something which really is a top rated endeavor that ranks right with China, Russia, and America. They have very competent rocket scientists that know how to put a vehicle into orbit, and really aren't all that far away from being able to successful launch crewed flights of their own if it wasn't for stupid and silly comments like yours who depict India as some poor unfortunate backwater country not worthy of anything but pity.
Heck, I am very impressed they are even considering this probe, and it represents a level of sophistication and ability which so far no other country on the Earth, not even America, has been able to accomplish. Getting something into the Sun takes more delta-v than a sample & return mission from Mars and in fact is harder than sending something into interstellar space like the Voyager missions. This literally is the frontier of human experience in any form and that by itself should speak volumes about what India is going to accomplish here.
Are you serious? Do you really think that this probe to the sun is going to result in better growing of crops? Seriously? Do you really think that India's money spent on a sun probe will result in more food than say the same investment in solar panels for a more steady electricity supply?
Yes, I do think that a probe into the sun to understand some of the environment which makes up the photosphere and the outer layers of the Sun better will indeed be far better spent money than dumping that into a bunch of foreign-made solar panels in some remote village to provide a steady supply of electricity. This is especially true for a country with as many people as live in India, where the individual investment into such a project is quite small per person and the pay-off can be so much more.
Try to learn about basic research and the benefits that have come from it. I certainly don't feel bad about myself feeling this way nor should SJHillman for that matter either. Basic research in space (including the stuff going on with the ISS) has been able to feed, clothe, and in general improve the overall standard of living for far more people than any other single endeavor in the past hundred years. It is literally saving lives, lives which in many cases can even be counted. I will even go so far as to suggest that we've only just started on the ways it can help humanity as a whole, and India in particular.
For this particular research in particular, it can help explain some of the non-anthroprogenic causes of global warming (IMHO something useful to know about too) and can certainly pave the way to help with much more accurate weather forecasts and other tools that can most certainly help out that village you are so concerned about. The pay-off for spending this money may take decades or even centuries to completely realize, but it will happen. A bit of a risk I suppose and knowing it is helping all of mankind at the same time rather than just the one village, but I certainly congratulate India on trying this project.
Most people have a cell phone if they are volunteers in a search group. Yes, an experienced group of semi-professional or professional search & rescue guys will have milspec radios (or at least something pretty rugged) likely with some ham radio frequencies available too, but as temporary communications it does a pretty lousy job compared to cell phone coverage.
I'll admit that the applications are pretty narrow, but the real issue is availability of radios, training (it does take training to competently use some radios), licensing (even FRS radios technically require a license for each one used), and the number of people involved. By its nature cell phone connections can handle dozens or even hundreds of conversations simultaneously and contact precisely the person you need with a minimal amount of fuss if they are in the coverage of the network (even if the network is just a single tower although it could be more than that). A bunch of VHF radios get very crowded with chatter if you have more than a couple dozen people regularly communicating with each other and needs some strict protocols for communication... like what the FAA requires for plane to ground communication.
My suggestion here is for a situation where you have a large group (100+ people) with minimal or no formal radio communications training in the middle of nowhere. Besides, once you have the phone to transmitter link, you can have other methods of communicating with the outside world linked into that central service. It would be overkill if you have a smallish group and resources to buy the radios you are talking about.
I know of some places where farms and ranches represent the populated areas... and the rest of the area is genuine wilderness complete with bears, mountain lions, and wolves (not to mention deer, chipmunks, and other not so aggressive wildlife). On the other hand, there are some occasional hikers who get lost where setting up a cell tower in a box would be useful if only as a search & rescue operation (so different search parties can communicate with each other & the base with simply ordinary cell phones). There is also a local Boy Scout camp that I'd love to set one of these devices up at for emergency communications and troop to troop communications.
I can imagine some applications that major carriers simply wouldn't care for because there isn't any profit to be made in such an activity, but none the less would be very useful. Reading up on what and where these OpenBTS guys have already established transmitters (including one on the island of Niue that is permanent) shows at least some of the range that these systems could be established.
Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.