6
   

Vice President Heads for Moon

 
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 05:56 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Eggs-actly . . . the European colonies were all a drain on their respective "mother countries" until such time as they could produce what they needed, and turn a profit.

This becomes even more crucial in a situation in which everything you use has to come from the bottom of the mother well. Setting up a situation in which we can manufacture the wherewithal for exploration in microgravity will be a watershed moment. But i don't look for it to happen any time soon. It's kind of a shame, but not only will it not happen in my lifetime, i doubt that it will happen in the lifetime of anyone now living. Maybe in the lifetimes of the grandchildren of the children of today, and i'll bet that even that is an outside shot.


Unfortunately probably correct, though I plan on living a long time personally.

The ultimate goal, in my mind, is to move as much heavy manufacturing into orbit as possible - to the point where we are actually IMPORTING heavy metals from space back to earth. It wouldn't be hard to do - just Foam the metal and shape it like an arrowhead with spiral grooves, give it some spin, and point it towards the ocean. It would splash down and float, easy to recover.

Cycloptichorn
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 06:04 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Really? The cost of hauling a SINGLE POUND of sand, into orbit is a thousand dollars or more.

But it's a cost we'll never pay if we stay put on this planet.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 06:05 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:
Really? The cost of hauling a SINGLE POUND of sand, into orbit is a thousand dollars or more.

But it's a cost we'll never pay if we stay put on this planet.


Sure, and if you stay home all the time, your beer bill is practically zero. But what fun is that in the long run?!?! Laughing

The Earth by definition is a limited resource environment; we cannot envision a long-term survival plan for our species without breaking free of this environment.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 06:08 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Brandon wrote:
You're ask a lot of incredibly obvious questions today.

Then your difficulties in answering them are all the more mysterious.

Brandon9000 wrote:
First of all, advocating a small government doesn't mean that the government must take the shortest possible view of everything and that all programs which involve multiple steps to fulfillment are banned.

No, but it does require that government programs must yield public benefits that are large enough to justify the tax money going into them. So far, you have not identified any such benefit.

But to you, the only real benefit is a money profit in the next few years. As I said, short term thinking. I'll get back to you with a dollar figure on mankind moving out to space and colonizing other solar systems.

Thomas wrote:
Brandon wrote:
Secondly, people are routinely asked to pay for the whole government budget, rather than only the parts they personally agree with.

That doesn't make it right. Additionally, what you envision would be programs that the majority of voters disagree with. In a democracy, that's a legitimate reason not to pursue them, so you'll need to come up with a good-enough reason to trump it.

Are you actually saying that it's wrong to forbid people to just pay taxes on the portion of the budget they personally agree with? I guess you're entitled to your opinion. As for the reason to travel beyond the Earth, it's so that mankind can become a spacefaring species, someday colonize many other worlds, and meet other intelligent life, if such exists. It's also to discover the million things we'll find in space, many of which we couldn't begin to predict. But I forget, you only recognize monetary profits in the immediate future.

Thomas wrote:
Brandon9000 wrote:
And finally, the average person is often not in favor of things that in retrospect are universally regarded as having been critically important.

The reverse is not true though: just because the average person disapproves of something, that doesn't mean future generations will regard it as having been critically important. And besides, what makes you any less average than Setanta, engineer, and me? You're a "guy on the street" just as we are -- no more, no less.


Agreed that it's not true that everything the man in the street disapproves of is right, but then, I never claimed that. Sorry, but I don't view the disapproval of the majority as the best guide to what's right, especially given the majority's historical track record.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 06:08 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Unfortunately probably correct, though I plan on living a long time personally.

Wasn't your plan to save your personality to an FPGA and to live eternally as a software emulation of yourself?
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 06:09 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:
Unfortunately probably correct, though I plan on living a long time personally.

Wasn't your plan to save your personality to an FPGA and to live eternally as a software emulation of yourself?


Yes, this is currently the plan. I just need to hold on long enough for the computing technology to catch up. It's looking promising at the moment!

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 06:09 pm
@Thomas,
I think he's saying that we'll use these materials to further colonize the universe, not to increase the supply on earth.

Obviously the earth is not going to run out of carbon, or silica, but he's saying that these things are needed in space to further space exploration. So we can get them from space instead of sending them up.

Or I may be reading this entirely wrong.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 06:10 pm
@maporsche,
maporsche wrote:

I think he's saying that we'll use these materials to further colonize the universe, not to increase the supply on earth.

Obviously the earth is not going to run out of carbon, or silica, but he's saying that these things are needed in space to further space exploration. So we can get them from space instead of sending them up.

Or I may be reading this entirely wrong.


Nope, you're right!

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 06:37 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon wrote:
But to you, the only real benefit is a money profit in the next few years.

Not true.

I regard space exploration as an investment like any other. That means the sum of all the program's future benefits, discounted by the long term interest rate, have to exceed the taxpayer money we invest today. For example, to be worth investing today at the current long-term interest rate (~2.5% per year), a dollar would have to yield more than $1.28 in 10 years, or $1.63 in 20 years, or 3.43 in 50 years, or $11.80 in 100 years. (This is in constant dollars, so inflation goes extra.)

Even by this long-term standard, I don't see future profits that would justify current government spending on space exploration programs.

Brandon9000 wrote:
Are you actually saying that it's wrong to forbid people to just pay taxes on the portion of the budget they personally agree with?

No that's not what I'm saying. All I'm saying is that if the majority of voters disapproves of a program, a democratic goverment will be reluctant to implement it. This is a feature of democracy, not a bug. You can disagree with the democratic majority if you please, but then you bear the burden of proof that the majority is wrong. The democratic majority doesn't have to justify its priorities to you.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 07:31 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Brandon wrote:
But to you, the only real benefit is a money profit in the next few years.

Not true.

I regard space exploration as an investment like any other. That means the sum of all the program's future benefits, discounted by the long term interest rate, have to exceed the taxpayer money we invest today. For example, to be worth investing today at the current long-term interest rate (~2.5% per year), a dollar would have to yield more than $1.28 in 10 years, or $1.63 in 20 years, or 3.43 in 50 years, or $11.80 in 100 years. (This is in constant dollars, so inflation goes extra.)

Even by this long-term standard, I don't see future profits that would justify current government spending on space exploration programs....

I'm incredulous that you still don't get it. Here's another hint. Please tell me the profit in developing the ability to travel to more and more stars, settling dozens of worlds, meeting other intelligences, and learning wondrous things we can't imagine now.
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 07:38 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon; if NASA's budget was 1 trillion/year, how long do you think it would take to send a manned mission outside of our solar system?

How much do you think we need to spend to make it to the next star? How long will that take (given the technology to make such a trip in a lifetime doesn't exist).

I with you that we need to invest in space; and it was one of the things about Bush that I liked (and I posted that here). But I think your 'benefits' are lifetimes away (unless those other civilizations make first contact).
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 07:44 pm
@maporsche,
maporsche wrote:

Brandon; if NASA's budget was 1 trillion/year, how long do you think it would take to send a manned mission outside of our solar system?

How much do you think we need to spend to make it to the next star? How long will that take (given the technology to make such a trip in a lifetime doesn't exist).

I with you that we need to invest in space; and it was one of the things about Bush that I liked (and I posted that here). But I think your 'benefits' are lifetimes away (unless those other civilizations make first contact).

Well, there are both aesthetic and financial benefits to be had within our solar system, but let me answer your question. Anything approaching interstellar capable propulsion is utterly beyond our capability. It takes us months to get to Mars even at its closest approach. At closest approach, Mars is 35 million miles away. The nearest solar system to ours is the Alpha Centauri system. It is 4.3 light years away, and a light year is 5.9 trillion miles.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 08:25 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:
I'm incredulous that you still don't get it.

I'm sorry you are, but that's your problem, not mine.

Brandon9000 wrote:
Here's another hint. Please tell me the profit in developing the ability to travel to more and more stars, settling dozens of worlds, meeting other intelligences, and learning wondrous things we can't imagine now.

I don't know, and I won't let you find it out on my money.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 08:55 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:

Agreed that it's not true that everything the man in the street disapproves of is right, but then, I never claimed that. Sorry, but I don't view the disapproval of the majority as the best guide to what's right, especially given the majority's historical track record.

I agree with this sentiment. I think that is why we have a representative form of government where we can elect elite officials to make informed decisions for the best of the country, but my understanding from talk radio is that the "elite" who dare to advise us on what is best for the country are clearly idiots who are out of touch with the common sense average Joe. No common sense, average Joe is going to spend the kind of money necessary to go to Mars. I'm up for a program to mine the moon, but I doubt we would ever have permanent colonies off of Earth. I don't believe your goals of reaching other planets is feasible regardless of the money we spend on it. If I were funding NASA, I think I would be focusing on the manned space station and robotic exploration of the moon.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 10:24 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

Brandon9000 wrote:

Agreed that it's not true that everything the man in the street disapproves of is right, but then, I never claimed that. Sorry, but I don't view the disapproval of the majority as the best guide to what's right, especially given the majority's historical track record.

I agree with this sentiment. I think that is why we have a representative form of government where we can elect elite officials to make informed decisions for the best of the country, but my understanding from talk radio is that the "elite" who dare to advise us on what is best for the country are clearly idiots who are out of touch with the common sense average Joe. No common sense, average Joe is going to spend the kind of money necessary to go to Mars. I'm up for a program to mine the moon, but I doubt we would ever have permanent colonies off of Earth. I don't believe your goals of reaching other planets is feasible regardless of the money we spend on it. If I were funding NASA, I think I would be focusing on the manned space station and robotic exploration of the moon.

A hundred and ten years ago, you'd be telling me that the airplane is a pipe dream. How is my goal of reaching other planets not "feasible regardless of the money we spend on it?"
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 10:30 pm
@Brandon9000,
Quote:
A hundred and ten years ago, you'd be telling me that the airplane is a pipe dream. How is my goal of reaching other planets not "feasible regardless of the money we spend on it?"


the developers of the airplane did not feed at the public trough....either convince the public or else do this with private money.
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 10:30 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon, I think going to Mars and other planets in our solar system is feasible, if cost were not an issue. There's no doubt about that.

I think the main question is 'why'. The answers you gave aren't realistic.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 10:35 pm
@maporsche,
Quote:
I think the main question is 'why'. The answers you gave aren't realistic.


Americans tend to be practical, space has to win a cost benefit analysis, and the cost has to be be relatively high on the priority list. We have lots of stuff that needs investment.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 10:35 pm
@maporsche,
maporsche wrote:

Brandon, I think going to Mars and other planets in our solar system is feasible, if cost were not an issue. There's no doubt about that.

I think the main question is 'why'. The answers you gave aren't realistic.

In what way? Nothing but monetary profit in the near term has real value?
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 10:41 pm
@Brandon9000,
Quote:

In what way? Nothing but monetary profit in the near term has real value?


YES! America is getting more poor and decrepit by the minute...wake the **** up! WE can no longer afford to finance these fantasies.
0 Replies
 
 

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