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Race To Space: Exploration, Commercial or Tourist Driven?

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In reply to an earlier post on Jan 20, 2010 11:29:43 AM PST
1) The suborbital "cruise" is BS. If some multi-millionaire wants to spend a million or more to go up and down that's his business. But the average Joe isn't going anywhere! If they want to make it a novelty ride for the ultrarich fine. Personally I think it's a waste of money.
1a) no comment required.
1b) Disney in space? I imagine if they could pull it off they would. But don't bet the ranch.
2) We went from Mercury to the Moon in eight years because there was a national ferver to beat the Russians. That competition was seen as a patriotic duty almost. It was a war, albiet a cold war, but a war just the same. So all those resources were sent to the space program. It's not the same anymore. The average person couldn't care less about going into space. The people's focus is not going to be on space travel but on jobs and income. There are some very tough times ahead my friend and the money is going to go to the needs of this country and space adventures aren't a need.
3) The spaceplane that NASA has been talking about for years may or may not become a reality but I'm telling you the economy is the focus now. The geopolitics of the world economy is going to be what drives the decisions about what to spend on. The DoD is going to get it's money! Their space programs will go ahead but NASA is going to be cut back drastically in the coming years. Any company wanting to try to make this concept a reality is going to find money hard to come by. It's a very risky venture with really little to attract investors other than the guy who owns Virgin this and that. Whatever his name is. He's into it so great. But the average investor isn't even considering it. The time is fast coming where the government is going to take over many of the necessary industries. The Chinese model of a controlled economy is the coming thing and everyone knows it. By 2060 economists expect the Chinese economy to have a GDP of 121 Tillion dollars! Let that figure sink in. We are going backwards my friend and the economy just isn't going to be there for these kinds of ventures.
4) After 9/11 I DO NOT FLY anywhere at anytime! I will never fly again! Thank you!
You'd be happy to go. Great! You got a couple of million bucks do you? Good for you. I don't and it doesn't matter anyway since I don't fly. But the average person is never going to be able to afford to go. Launch costs are never going to get to that level to allow some one like me (economically speaking here) to afford to go. It's a pipe dream kid.
5) I didn't say it couldn't be done but you have to be reasonable about human nature. People must be motivated to act and right now they're not even motivated enough to spend enough time to really learn and understand what is going on with they're atmosphere and environment. The vast majority of Americans are ignorant fools. They go to work and do what they're told to do. Go home, fight with their spouses eat, watch nonsense on TV, go to bed, have sex if they didn't fight, roll over and go to sleep. In the morning they get up and do the same thing over again. Every day same as the day before. And that's all they want to do. They want their TV's, music, their appliances, their computers so they can facebook somebody, the women want to gossip with their girlfriends and see if they can seduce the hunk next door, the men want to seduce the divorcee down the street or at work and watch football and drink beer. The kids want their X-box or PS3, their MP3 player, and to get away from their parents. Oh and smoke pot! Their parents smoke too but they don't share with the kids! Do you really expect this population of stoned people to care about this stuff?
You are dreaming my friend!
6) It doesn't matter if you're convinced or not the truth is we need to rebuild our infrastructure and if they, the powers that be, decide to cut NASA's budget it's going to get cut. If you think the stimulus money put up last year is going to fix everything you're crazy! With a capital C!
7) How soon will "Virgin Galactic" turn a profit? When the owner is dead and gone along with his son and grandson if then.

My friend: If you want to spend your money on this pipedream you're welcome to.
As for me I'm gonna go to Walmart and buy my Sam's cola, Great Value potato chips, Great Value cereal bars, Mrs Freshley's brownies, Little Debbie cakes, fruit cocktail (in heavy syrup), toilet paper, paper towels, sausage, Jambalya mix, Red Beans and Rice mix, chicken, hamburger, spaghetti, spaghetti sauce and air freshener.
Then I'm going to try to get the Temple Owls' basketball game on some TV or internet outlet to enable me to watch them win another game!


Posted on Jan 20, 2010 12:39:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 20, 2010 12:41:27 PM PST
Nobody smoked pot in the 1960s? And back then, Daddy wanted to seduce the babysitter (age of consent was a bit younger back then), Mommy wanted to do the milkman, and Junior wanted his Radio Flyer red wagon and his bicycle. The names of the toys change, but the desire is the same. And of course there was 'I Dream of Jeannie' and 'Bewitched' and 'The Beverly Hillbillies' and a ton of other shows to watch, basketball, baseball, hockey and football.

Yeah, going from "nobody's ever come close to doing it" to actually doing it in eight years isn't likely to happen without some big thing like the fear that the Commies are gonna beat us. But going from "it was proven over forty years ago that it can be done" to doing it again in twenty or thirty years doesn't seem so unrealistic. But again, we're mixing governmental and commercial spaceflight. Cold wars and government spending are irrelevant when it comes to commercial spaceflight.

The suborbital flight with Virgin Galactic isn't going for a couple of million dollars; it's going for $200,000 and will fall after the initial cost of development is paid off. As for how long it will take VG to turn a profit: it already is. The price will fall faster if another company starts to compete with them.

Yes, the economy is in the toilet RIGHT NOW. But NOW is not FOREVER. The economy will recover. It always does. Now that VG is turning a profit, other guys will want to make a profit of their own.

Things haven't happened as quickly as I would like. No, I didn't get a jet-pack or a flying car for Christmas 2000. It will take years, even decades before middle-class folks can take a honeymoon in orbit, but centuries? All signs point the other way, and I expect to live another forty years and see it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 20, 2010 12:54:22 PM PST
Well I ain't worried. I'll be dead in two to three years so I really couldn't care less what happens!
Good luck to you!

Posted on Jan 20, 2010 1:08:37 PM PST
I'm sorry to hear that. If I can not wish you long life, then I wish you the best of everything in the life you have left.

Posted on Jan 21, 2010 1:03:19 PM PST,0,2332951.story

SCIENTISTS TRAIN TO GO OUT OF THIS WORLD ("Research scientists are training at a private space training center near Philadelphia ... to get ready for brief, suborbital jaunts into space aboard small, commercial rocket-planes ... (which will be) a realistic, affordable alternative for those who need to get their experiments above Earth's atmosphere.")

I guess I was surprised that non-NASA scientists were making plans to take their experiments (however briefly) above Earth's atmosphere, on the tourist-oriented rocket-planes from Branson and others. The conventional wisdom was that NASA would continue to do the space-science, and the private space enterprises would focus on tourism, and eventually mining, etc. Hoorah for those space-training researchers, ready to take their experiments up on private spacecraft!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 21, 2010 1:32:30 PM PST
M. Helsdon says:

And a diary of the course:

Posted on Jan 22, 2010 7:38:32 AM PST
MH -

Thanks for the links. The NASTAR Center is quite interesting. They do military as well as private citizen training. And their "Upset Recovery" program looks interesting, training pilots how to get out of in-flight situations when something/everything "fails".

Posted on Jan 24, 2010 10:04:11 AM PST
Below are links to fascinating and recent articles from Popular Mechanics:
THE WORLD'S MOST AMBITIOUS ROCKET MAKERS (S. California propulsion engineers' off-work projects in the Reaction Research Project, the U.S.' oldest amateur rocketry club.)
THE NEW SPACE RACE: HANDICAPPING THE BILLIONAIRE ROCKETEERS ("As NASA plods on with mammoth long-term programs, (five) nimble, innovative space entrepreneurs are gearing up to meet ambitious short-range goals.")
THE FOUR TOP SITES TO LAND ON MARS, AND THEIR BIGGEST MYSTERIES ("JPL's version of The Final Four ... of where to send the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover after it launches in the fall of 2011.")

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2010 11:37:45 AM PST
To Marilyn Martin:
Thanks for the link to the LA Times article. Unfortunately, IMHO, the article was written as if it was reporting on some Hollywood premiere; it didn't even have a decent picture of the spacecraft, the VSS Enterprise. I guess that's to be expected in La-La Land.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2010 11:50:24 AM PST
To M. Helsdon:
Thank you for the VERY interesting link re the X-51A.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2010 12:12:08 PM PST
M. Helsdon says:

Some recent X-51A news:

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2010 3:26:35 PM PST
To M. Helsdon:
Thanks fior the link. I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit it, but I didn't realize that the X-51A was an unmanned vehicle.

Posted on Jan 25, 2010 6:20:12 PM PST
Race to space and tourest-driven. That's the way people want to see and interesting characters and stories to go with them. As much as I love Star Trek, I want something different, something exciting. Maybe I'll just write my own!

Posted on Jan 25, 2010 7:27:25 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 25, 2010 11:23:33 PM PST
Ah, now if you're wanting books, movies, or TV shows about tourism in Space, then I'm with you. I've also thought of writing my own, but, well...

I guess I should tell you what I'm good at, and what I'm not good at.
What I'm good at is coming up with the bare bones of a "really cool idea that would make a GREAT movie/TV show!!!"
What I'm not good at is turning this really cool idea into something which could actually be a movie or TV series, even if I knew people in the industry, which I don't.

So what I'll do is to wish you the best of luck! I'd really like to see something based on this, even if it isn't mine. Got to be hard SF, though, so we know it's something that could really happen.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 25, 2010 8:19:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 26, 2010 6:15:14 AM PST
I'd be very happy to write them. Just find me a publisher! Actually, I have completed a science fiction story which is looking for a home. And I have a sequel to it halfway done. Any leads?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 25, 2010 10:14:29 PM PST
D. Wayne:
"Just fine me a publisher!"
No leads but here's a tip: learn to spell.
The word is "find". Unless of course you want to actually "fine" a publisher.
For what I can't imagine.
Here's a suggestion: keep writing your sequels and just make them all into a complete novel.
That's a "novel" idea! Don't you think?
I won't buy or read it since I don't read fiction but there are alot of Sci-Fi freaks out there who have no lives and who read this nonsense and live in another world and/or dimension. They will buy it. Especially if it has some hot drawn babe with hooters the size of Jupiter on the cover with almost nothing covering them! Make sure you put in all kinds of really great sounding techno terms and titles. Also make sure you leave everything hanging in the end so you can then write a sequel just like all the movies they make today. That will ensure that you will get repeat business. Make sure you keep everything organized 'cause the readers will find the smallest error and let you know it. An index to characters, techno-terms etc with definitions helps too. Some things the readers can argue about when they're playing the computer game or video game that Sony will make from your book.
There you go D. Wayne I've taken you right up to Sony.
Now you've got to do the thinking, creating and writing.
I'll take 10%.
Thanks: GRS

Posted on Jan 25, 2010 11:23:57 PM PST

You can't spell and I can, nah nah nah.
I'm too good to read stories.
Sci-fi fans are losers.
Ain't I clever.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2010 12:16:12 AM PST
Ronald Craig says:
Comments on Internet forums aren't matters of life-and-death importance, but if you're posting about writing (or having written) something, on a website dedicated to books (among other products), it seems to me the least you could do is proofread what you've written before clicking Post.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2010 3:39:14 AM PST
You take things way too seriously!
I don't think of myself as clever. Crazy maybe but not clever.
NO! I'm not too good to read stories. I've read stories to my grandchildren many times. I just don't read fiction for myself. That's all.
I didn't say Sci-Fi fans were losers. I've bought Sci-Fi books for my kids and grandkids and I don't consider them all losers. A couple of them yes but not all.
I FIND that most of these kids today, that I have personally observed, are mostly addicted to these computer and video games. Since most of them are Sci-Fi related or fantasies the kids seem to live in another worrld seperate from reality.
I just read a short article in "Time" magazine about the kids today. According to a "Kaiser Family Foundation" study U.S. kids spend the following amounts of time on the following: (daily amounts/child)
Watching TV: 270 minutes
Listening to music: 151 minutes
Talking on cell phones: 33 minutes
Playing video games: 73 minutes
Text messaging: 90 minutes
Nonschool computer use: 89 minutes
They found that the only leisure activity that has become less popular with today's kids is: READING!
The future of America my friends!
The future of America!
I'm glad to say I'll be dying fairly soon and I won't be around for the collapse of this country when these kids grow up.
How's that for a translation Sailor!?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2010 6:03:43 AM PST
Looks like you guys never heard of a typo. I suppose you're talking about fine for find and sequal for sequel. I do apologize. Now you can check on the spelling errors of all the other posts.

Posted on Jan 26, 2010 6:07:43 AM PST
Glenn, I find your post powerful.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2010 6:16:05 AM PST
D. Wayne:
No thanks!
Too many posts!
Too many crazies too!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2010 6:28:18 AM PST
D. Wayne:
I thought you were sane!
If you find my post powerful you are in need of serious psychological help!
Powerful? Me? You've got to be kidding!
I've never written anything powerful in my life.
Tell me more!
How is it powerful?
NO! NO! Don't tell me! I'll get a big head and ego and then I won't be able to be lived with and my wife will leave me and I won't have anyone to help me change my urostomy bags and nobody to yell at me everyday and then I'll go completely insane and go on a shooting rampage and kill seven or eight fuzzy caterpillars!
They're coming to take me away D. Wayne!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2010 6:51:12 AM PST
No, Glenn. Whatever power was there has fizzled out.

Posted on Jan 26, 2010 7:22:51 AM PST
Predictions about the imminent fall of civilization, due the way kids are today, have been raining down for a long time. Today it's texting and video games, in the Eighties it was MTV, in the Seventies it was TV in general, in the Sixties it was the sex, drugs, and rock n' roll and in the Fifties it was comic books. I'm sure in the Thirties it was movies. If you go back far enough it was probably reading that was going to destroy civilization. I'm not worried about that.

Sorry if I was harsh, and it seems I was. I was in a bit of a mood, and, well, it showed.

I've done a bit of writing myself and, sure enough, some of my readers have pointed out some typos.
The person in charge of a school is a principal, not a principle (spell checker didn't help with that one!).
Is the coach's name Harold Michaels or Micheals? Spell checker treats both as misspellings.

But that's what proofreading, editors, and beta-readers are for. Most of us don't have access to all of that when we make posts on message boards.
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Discussion in:  Science Fiction forum
Participants:  93
Total posts:  2795
Initial post:  Jun 2, 2009
Latest post:  Aug 31, 2013

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