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 Message Boards » » The Future of Manned Space Flight Page 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 ... 28, Prev Next  
Smath74
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profit.

5/25/2011 1:37:04 PM

DoubleDown
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tons of money in space exploration so far, I can see how huge corporations would want to drop a few billion into it

5/25/2011 1:38:24 PM

Smath74
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obviously so.

there are plenty of companies that have risked hundreds of millions (if not more) already because of a chance to make profit.

5/25/2011 1:54:17 PM

DoubleDown
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i think there needs to be a better profit structure other than tourism to have a true technology boost

5/25/2011 2:22:35 PM

d357r0y3r
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Like the one constructed by the government? Yeah, we've really been blasting through technological barriers in the past decade with respect to space flight.

This is how it works. At first, a service is only available to the ridiculously rich. Think computers, cars, big screen TVs. Eventually, as competition lowers prices and fuels efficiency, those items become more widely available.

5/25/2011 3:01:13 PM

HockeyRoman
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Titanium on the moon, folks. Whichever company sets up shop there to harvest and then build more space ships will make a fortune and a half.

5/25/2011 3:26:52 PM

Mr. Joshua
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I thought Helium 3 was the reason for private moon trips.

5/25/2011 3:27:35 PM

HockeyRoman
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I agree with that as well. They'll probably make more than the titanium peeps. I'd invest in both companies if they came online within my lifetime.

[Edited on May 25, 2011 at 3:55 PM. Reason : Sam Rockwell]

5/25/2011 3:54:52 PM

d357r0y3r
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Asteroids have a crazy amount of important metals in 'em, if we could find a way to get to them and bring them material back.

[Edited on May 25, 2011 at 4:12 PM. Reason : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asteroid_mining]

5/25/2011 4:11:12 PM

DoubleDown
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^ I think anything would be more valid than tourism. Computers / cars / big screen TVs didn't cost dozens or hundreds of billions of dollars to R&D. That would take some serious interest in space tourism to be able to recoup that kind of cash. Unobtainium, resources, etc - that'd make more sense to me. But who knows, we all could be going on vacation to the moon in a few years if the price is right

5/25/2011 4:22:06 PM

d357r0y3r
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In fairness, a dollar bought a lot more when the first automobile was sold.

5/25/2011 4:34:19 PM

Mr. Joshua
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I don't know. I feel like if someone put a legitimate moon bounce on the moon then they would make a ton of money off of celebrity kids birthday parties.

5/25/2011 4:35:29 PM

DoubleDown
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Also, another thing to think about is death. People are going to die for this quest of private space exploration, possibly a lot of people. Are the stock holders / funder's resolute enough to keep pushing forward? Would having a shuttle of 50 people die mid-launch put an end to the program?

5/25/2011 4:46:54 PM

HockeyRoman
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Let's hope not. If people weren't willing to take a risk in the name of exploration then we should have just stayed in the trees!

5/25/2011 4:50:46 PM

Mr. Joshua
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I doubled down on my BP stock after 11 people were killed and it worked out pretty good for me.

5/25/2011 5:04:24 PM

DoubleDown
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Always double down on 11

5/25/2011 5:05:13 PM

Wraith
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I wonder how many passengers died in the early days of commercial aviation? Until technology can make space flight extremely safe the space tourism industry has a long way to go.

5/25/2011 5:16:17 PM

Mr. Joshua
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_accidents_and_incidents_involving_commercial_aircraft

It really picks up when volume went up after WWII.

5/25/2011 7:46:30 PM

Wraith
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Awesome pic from STS-134

6/2/2011 2:27:22 PM

Smath74
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i've been reading a lot of articles from the popular science archives about the shuttle program in the 70's, and it makes me sad how the shuttle was somewhat of a white elephant in that it didn't live up to the original intentions. It did, however, become a staple of space flight and made the ISS possible. I wish that a new vehicle was able to be designed and built before the shuttles were phased out. This lapse in US manned launch ability is going to bite us in the ass when china becomes the dominant economic AND space powerhouse.

6/2/2011 3:08:50 PM

ScubaSteve
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Quote :
"bite us in the ass when china becomes the dominant economic AND space powerhouse.
"


or spark some competition when china does finally pass us in those things... maybe not the economic powerhouse because they are not as visible as a chinese person walking around on the moon.

6/2/2011 3:26:39 PM

Wraith
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^Yeah exactly. The one good thing about no United States CLV for a while is that seeing the Chinese go to the moon might start another space race.

6/2/2011 3:43:37 PM

Slave Famous
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For some reason the idea of a couple chinese guys walking around on the moon is hilarious to me.

6/2/2011 3:45:14 PM

Mr. Joshua
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When they were initially developing the shuttle was it meant to be the sole launch vehicle for the US, or was it more of a tool for building the space station while another vehicle was intended to go beyond LEO?

6/2/2011 3:45:52 PM

Wraith
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When they were developing it I'm pretty sure they planned on it being the only MANNED launch vehicle... once the 1970s rolled around the government didn't see much need to go beyond LEO. As far as I know, Orion was the first beyond-LEO CEV that made it through the design stage once Apollo was finished.

6/2/2011 3:57:50 PM

Mr. Joshua
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That's what I'd always heard, but ever since Apollo NASA usually plans big and then is forced to scale back to something really lame. I was just wondering if that was the case here.

Also, nice forward thinking by the Russians:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OPSEK

6/2/2011 4:08:48 PM

Smath74
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the shuttle was meant to make routine satellite launches as well as manned trips with small turnaround times and high launch rates... turns out launching satellites via expendable unmanned rockets was cheaper.

6/2/2011 5:00:48 PM

Smath74
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http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/emerging-tech/2011/05/27/esa-gives-green-light-to-skylon-spaceplane-40092913/
ESA gives green light to Skylon spaceplane
Quote :
"There are no major barriers to the development of the UK Space Agency's Skylon spaceplane and the new Sabre engine that drives it, the European Space Agency has said in an assessment"

6/6/2011 2:01:16 PM

arghx
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When are we going to get to the point that all the space junk in Earth orbit makes missions too dangerous?

6/6/2011 2:42:14 PM

DoubleDown
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^ pretty soon if China keeps blowing up satellites

6/6/2011 2:51:37 PM

Smath74
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there is already talk of avoiding certain low earth orbits due to the amount of debris.

Geosynchronous is getting crowded too...

http://orbitaldebris.jsc.nasa.gov/photogallery/beehives.html#geo

6/6/2011 4:32:03 PM

Smath74
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I've been reading up on the so called SLS "Space Launch System" (or the more snarky "Senate Launch System")... it is supposed to be NASA's successor to the space shuttle, using shuttle derived technology and hardware. (including the existing Space Shuttle Main Engines)

There is a lot of debate as to why this beast is being build, the least of which is right now there is not a specific destination for this rocket (but i foresee it being used to support the ISS in the second half of this decade.)

Anyway, NASA is working on a general design, and it looks like it will be based on the Space Shuttle main fuel tank (the orange part of the shuttle stack) and solid rocket boosters as designed for the Ares rocket (part of the canceled constellation program)

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/06/sls-decision-nasa-two-phase-approach/

This article outlines what it is going to most likely consist of from what we know how.

6/7/2011 7:52:13 AM

Wraith
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^Working on it right now in my branch... I can't go into too many details but I can tell you that there are a load of different configuration ideas that we are messing with. We don't really know what mission we are supposed to design the vehicle for so we have a bunch of different prototype designs.

6/7/2011 9:17:10 AM

ThePeter
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There's been some SBIRs dealing with nanotech in fuels (I remember specifically the passivation of aluminum nanoparticles to make them safer), I wonder if that could be related to anything for spaceflight.

Well maybe I should read about it before I herp a derp myself

Quote :
"A11-089 Innovative Passivation Technologies for Aluminum Nanoparticles

Aluminum nanoparticles, because of their extremely high surface area ( > 20 m2/g) and combustion enthalpy (-7.4 kcal/g), have been the material of choice for metalization of energetics. The heat of formation of the oxide (Hf(Al2O3) = - 400.5 kcal/mol) provides a very high energy density, the reason it is the material of choice for the fuel in the solid rocket boosters for the space shuttle. It has long been postulated that metalized energetics can experience increased burn rates and enhanced detonation velocity. While there have been reports of enhanced performance in energetics due to metalization, it is unlikely that the true benefits have been realized.

(moar unrelated jumbo)"


[Edited on June 7, 2011 at 9:34 AM. Reason : adf]

6/7/2011 9:31:30 AM

Smath74
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Quote :
"^Working on it right now in my branch... I can't go into too many details but I can tell you that there are a load of different configuration ideas that we are messing with. We don't really know what mission we are supposed to design the vehicle for so we have a bunch of different prototype designs."

yeah i've read about tons of different designs... unofficially, how close is this thing going to be to the Direct Jupiter rockets?

6/7/2011 10:09:39 AM

Wraith
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There is no way of knowing this early in the design phase. Requirements and stuff get changed literally every day.

6/7/2011 10:54:31 AM

Smath74
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gotcha. are you a member of L2? (nasaspaceflight.com)... Very active message board about all things spaceflight.

6/7/2011 12:17:42 PM

Wraith
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http://www.grist.org/list/2011-06-17-military-spends-more-on-air-conditioning-than-nasas-entire-budge

I wish the general public had just a small idea of how the federal budget is allocated

[Edited on June 21, 2011 at 9:03 AM. Reason : ]

6/21/2011 9:03:23 AM

smc
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They'd like to understand the budget, but they have to work 80 hours a week with untreated medical problems to feed themselves.

Though personally opposed to the wars, I actually approve of this. The air conditioning alleviates the suffering of our fighting men. Scientific exploration is a noble pursuit but ultimately a luxury.

Are there any plans to intercept and study the Elenin comet?

[Edited on June 21, 2011 at 12:03 PM. Reason : .]

6/21/2011 11:55:51 AM

Mr. Joshua
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New Mars rover:

http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,2080201,00.html

Yes, I know it's not manned, however until someone makes a "Future of Un-Manned Space Flight" it's just going to go here. Suck it.

6/28/2011 3:23:23 PM

smc
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Check out them rims, yo.

I've always wondered why they didn't use tank treads. Seems like a sandtrap would spell the end, just like it did with one of their previous rovers.

Holy shit, it weighs 2000 lbs, more than some cars weigh, but it's only the size of a go-cart or motorcycle. It says only 176lbs is scientific instruments. Doesn't look like it would weigh that much, but I guess it's pretty densely packed with motors and fuel cells. You'd think NASA would be on top of this with space-age materials(laugh). At $10,000/lbs to launch it...I don't even want to think about how much that costs.



[Edited on June 28, 2011 at 9:38 PM. Reason : .]

6/28/2011 9:27:37 PM

Smath74
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^I'm sure a good amount of that weight is the nuclear fuel/power systems.

6/28/2011 11:40:02 PM

Smath74
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Last shuttle flight is happening now.

7/8/2011 12:06:47 PM

Tarun
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^

7/8/2011 12:50:37 PM

mrfrog

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well i tuned in with good timing.

7/8/2011 12:55:27 PM

ThePeter
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Supposedly there's some jab at the President's administration in the latest release about the NASA budget

7/18/2011 10:57:26 AM

Mr. Joshua
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Doesn't quite belong in this thread, but I thought it was cool:

Water in distant quasar could fill Earth's oceans 100 trillion times
http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/2011/07/25/water-in-distant-quasar-could-fill-earths-oceans-100-trillion-times/

7/25/2011 2:48:06 PM

smc
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Wasteful International "Space" Station to be Crashed in 2020, woohoo!

http://news.discovery.com/space/space-station-end-ocean-110727.html

It's remarkable how much it falls every year due to air drag. I'd argue it's not even in space to begin with.

7/28/2011 8:38:37 AM

Smath74
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^as of right now. it was designed to be used through about 2015 and they have extended it

and I made a thread about this, but this might be cool 200 years from now...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14405122

Quote :
"The researchers say there may be enough to implement a scheme using antimatter to fuel future spacecraft. "

8/8/2011 9:04:19 PM

DoubleDown
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smc is angry about space

8/8/2011 9:06:32 PM

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