8
   

SOMETHING WORTH DOING IN SPACE

 
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 09:08 am
@Thomas,
Quote:
I don't see any money-making opportunities for private enterprise there.
mining helium 3 and neodymium, osmium, and smorium is gonna be BIIG in the future.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 09:09 am
@farmerman,
Thats SAMARIUM. Smorium is the element used to make Smores so tasty
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 10:19 am
@farmerman,
Smores? I've heard them mentioned a lot on American television programmes, but I do not know what they are.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 11:16 am
@izzythepush,
Smores are chocolate and marshmallow in a graham cracker (a slightly sweetened, whole wheat cracker).

http://whatscookingamerica.net/Cookie/Smores/Smores2.jpg

They were popularized in summer camps, where marshmallows had long been "toasted" at campfires. Hence, the blackened exterior of the marshmallow you see in the image. Some brainiac decided to combine toasted marshmallows with chocolate and graham crackers.

It is entirely possible that that was an attempt at humor (humour for the spelling-challenged) on FM's part. Of couse, he's getting older, so you never know.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 11:25 am
@Thomas,
If i wanna think of worth doing as meaning getting a return on investment, i have the right. However, my thrust here is that getting started on the asteroid belt is an exercise in doing something practical in space, which yields something more than bragging rights or rather passive micro-gravity studies. The asteroid belt may well be, probably will be, an important resource in the future, and it can also benefit space exploration because if handled well, it can atrract corporate sponsorship. Once that happens, nobody any longer cares if its "sexy" to the tax payer.

Mercury, Gemini and Apollo were great show pieces and inspiration--they were also a wonderful way for us to catch up to the evil Russkies in the development of rocket payload boosters. Not only that, by making it about publicly broadcast manned missions, the program perforce produced a high degree of accuracy in control of the rockets, as well as developing sophisticated telemetry--all with a military end in mind. Because Kennedy dubbed it the new frontier, you could get the tax payer behind a multi-billion dollar program which would have had far less appeal than telling the taxpayer "Sputnik scared the **** out of us, and we desparately need to catch up to the vile Commies in building reliable ICBMs."

These days, you're going to need corporate participation to keep zipping around in the great vacuum, and for that, there needs to be a pay-off.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 11:41 am
@Setanta,
Thank you, what you call a graham cracker, we call a digestive biscuit.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 11:42 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
These days, you're going to need corporate participation to keep zipping around in the great vacuum, and for that, there needs to be a pay-off.

This may be politically true in today's USA. I don't see why it should be true in general. If the US government is no longer willing to subsidize space research simply as a scientific enterprise,then at some point, some more enlightened nation will. I just hope it's India, not China, who takes over the lead from America.

Concerning commercially viable projects in outer space: I'll believe the stories about mining the asteroid belt when I see a business plan with realistic numbers. Until then, I think it's fantasy.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 11:42 am
@izzythepush,
We have digestive biscuits here in Canadia, but they're slightly different in consistency from graham crackers, but yes, they're more or less the same thing. The little dogs just love digestive biscuits.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 11:43 am
@Thomas,
You won't get a business plan with realistic numbers until you get an operationsl base, and that's why a project such as this is something worth doing.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 11:56 am
@Setanta,
All I know is what I read in cook books; in the same way that zucchini is in the American column, and courgette is in the correct column, so are Graham crackers/ Digestive biscuits put next to each other. I'd always assumed they were the same thing. Thank you for correcting me.

Incidently digestive biscuits are like Heinz ketchup and Kellogg's cornflakes. They're not really digestives unless they're McVities.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 12:02 pm
@izzythepush,
Graham crackers were invented by a Presbyterian minister in New Jersey about 1830. The Reverend Graham promoted eating healthy food, but he had a sort of ass-backwards way of doing it. The chaff and the wheat germ would be removed to produce white flour in the standard manner, and then would be added back to create the cracker. It wasn't all that popular, so some bright boy at one point began adding sugar, and it's been a popular food in 'Merica ever since. For a very long time, 'Mericans called whole wheat flour graham flour, but i think that has passed out of usage.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 12:02 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
Concerning commercially viable projects in outer space: I'll believe the stories about mining the asteroid belt when I see a business plan with realistic numbers. Until then, I think it's fantasy.

With an attitude as that, wed still be lighting with whale oil. First oil wells were all big gambles based on very little knowledge other than the location of oil seeps

Mining asteroids isnt as feasible as mining the moon or Mars. These larger bodies have sizeable gravities and therefore have oxygen in their minerals that can be "mined" and regenerated. Also water is availbale, we already know that. We also know the key resources we can obtain/ WE have no real ideas about mineral banks in asteroids except for stuff like nickle and iron.

We will need stuff for magnets, batteries, fusion and production of wafer and nanotech.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 12:04 pm
And, as everyone knows, Presbyterian ministers, smores and graham flour are crucially important to space exploration.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Jul, 2011 12:05 pm
@farmerman,
I believe that water is present both on/in Vesta and on/in Ceres.
0 Replies
 
 

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