Corporations... in space! page 3

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Originally posted by Darkruler2005:

This issue is one which may be ending up in a situation which nobody wants yet everybody votes for. A few big, profitable, strong firms will eventually start ruling space and beyond while the rest remains poor. We’re luckily not ready for space exploration yet, but I certainly hope the future will include making sure there is no way to “claim ownership” of a planet or rich asteroid. In fact, hopefully, by that time we should no longer be worrying about “countries” and instead combine the whole of humanity.

All just speculations, though.

I’m fairly certain there was a legal codex of operatives precluding corporations or any other organization from assuming ownership over celestial bodies. If I recall correctly, in legislature of the Moon Treaty – an international negotiation, although not one adopted and/or advocated by every political power – nobody is technically permitted to claim possession on the moon, asteroids and all those other hunks of astral objects floating around in the vacuum of space.

 
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Originally posted by onlineidiot1994:

Why is it that only trolls keep this thread alive? Absolutely disgusting.

I have no idea, but this point is worth resurrecting the thread for. Back in the 80s and 90s space exploration was rabidly followed by large bodies of the public. These days however, there is an almost-total lack of interest from the younger generations, whereas the older often do not fully grasp how to access the newest data via the ESA and NASA web sites.

It almost seems as if our real space exploration capabilities cannot compete with videogame space exploration capabilities, so the interest is syphoning away.

 
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Well. To be fair the real space exploration is slow and relatively minor in scope. It absolutely cannot compete with sci-fi games/books/movies/shows in terms of spectacle.

Once it becomes realistic to visit in person we’ll see a short renaissance of interest, which will die shortly unless there is a significant real investment in colonisation and space-industry/mining.

Which should happen as we run low on resources and space.

I’m optimistic.

 
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Back in the sixties, we all knew exactly what NASA was trying to do because JFK had announced their intentions to the world. I think that was part of the interest, to see if they would succeed or fail. And the idea of putting a man on the moon was, back then, so outrageously ambitious that it caught the imagination of the world. It’s all much more low key now, with a variety of projects all chugging along so quietly that hardly anyone notices. What we really need is for the Irish space programme to announce their intention of landing a man on the sun by 2020 – now that should bring back a bit of thr old excitement. (They are actually part of the ESA, and make a surprisingly large contribution for such a small country.)

And Redem is right that there wasn’t the competition from entertainment media back then. The nearest thing we had was Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock dealing with some very dodgy special effects every week. Mechanisation, railways, the motor car have all had their turn at being the wonder of the age, and now we just take them for granted. Space exploration will probably go the same way. But if there’s money to be made out there, it will definitely keep going.

 
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if they would announce that, no-one would take it serious. obviously you can’t land on the sun. i’ll bet you would tell me that’s what people thought about the moon as well, but that’s not the same. people didn’t know, we DO know you can’t land on the sun.

Mars is where it’s at. but it wouldn’t be the Irish of course.

 
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We have thick Irishman jokes, much as I believe the Belgians have thick Dutchman jokes. Sorry I forgot the smiley again.

 
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Well, if we were to change that intention to: Scoop out a chunk of the sun and bring it back, then it would certainly garner interest. About as difficult for us now, as landing on the moon would have seemed back then. We do actually have materials and structures that can survive such temperatures, but it would be an extremely complex engineering task, to say the least.

Omega, there was actually an old film produced in the fifties, I think it was, a fanciful sci-fi about a manned mission to Neptune, and what they may find when they land on the rocky surface…

 
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sure, but movies are of course fictional. if any space agency would claim to be trying to get a man to Neptune no-one would take it serious either, because it would be FAR easier to get to Mars than to Neptune.

as for bringing a chunk of Sun to Earth… uhm…i believe you’ve really seen too much sci-fi, vika. the Sun is not really an object but a process of sub-atomic fusion (campare flames). i don’t see how we could feed that process removed from the Sun. also, i’m 100% certain that we in fact do not have any such equipment, or buildings that can withstand such temperatures, as we do not even know of ANY subtance matter whatsoever that isn’t a gas at those temperatures.

in order to break free a chunk of Sun – and this is only hypothetical because again, the Sun is not an object – we’d need to somehow apply a force to the fusing matter from a huge distance to pry it loose. it’s also gotta be of microscopic size, or else the heat it generates when brought back to Earth would drastically alter our climate. this whole thing is just… insane.

i think you’re confused with efforts to create nuclear fusion here on Earth, which is sometimes creatively dubbed “bringing a bit of Sun to the Earth”, but certainly doesn’t involve doing that literally.

 
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Originally posted by OmegaDoom:
also, i’m 100% certain that we in fact do not have any such equipment, or buildings that can withstand such temperatures, as we do not even know of ANY subtance matter whatsoever that isn’t a gas at those temperatures.

I was actually thinking of these things where the central focussing chamber has to be built to survive heat of up to 28,000F, and the sun’s surface is only 10,000F. We have the capability via metamaterials and some intelligent use of folds in those materials to create natural heatsinks and channels.

The problem then is dealing with an external source of heat rather than an internal one – hence the mammoth engineering task. It doesn’t really matter if the nuclear fusion process is halted, by heaving a chunk of stellar matter out. It would be the ability itself that would be the grand thing.

The main point would be to rekindle the awe of the space program, by attempting something extreme.

it’s also gotta be of microscopic size, or else the heat it generates when brought back to Earth would drastically alter our climate.

You’re not very good at physics, are you Omega? If the nuclear process has stopped, then its not going to be generating some terriffic heat. If the nuclear process has not stopped, bringing a small nuclear fusion reactor to Earth is not going to cause some 2012 doomstay scenario. It is not going to drastically alter our climate.

i think you’re confused with efforts to create nuclear fusion here on Earth

where the hell did you pull that from, when it was blindingly obvious I was talking about mad projects to rekindle interest in space?

 
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ok, i had to look that up a little. what you’re refering to is called the Photosphere, which is the surface of the “visible” core of the sun, and relatively cool. however, to get to that you first have to get passed the Corona, which is a million degrees or more in any temperature scale.

It doesn’t really matter if the nuclear fusion process is halted, by heaving a chunk of stellar matter out. It would be the ability itself that would be the grand thing.

perhaps. but all you’re left with is a mixbag of elements.

You’re not very good at physics, are you Omega? If the nuclear process has stopped, then its not going to be generating some terriffic heat. If the nuclear process has not stopped, bringing a small nuclear fusion reactor to Earth is not going to cause some 2012 doomstay scenario. It is not going to drastically alter our climate.
where the hell did you pull that from, when it was blindingly obvious I was talking about mad projects to rekindle interest in space?

might be interesting to see what all the gas does when it cools down slowly. but aar, since you want to take it off the surface of the Sun, which likely means the surface of the visible Sun where this actual process of Nuclear fusion takes place, i had imagined you wanted to bring it back funcionally, since that is basically the definition of Sun you were using.

The main point would be to rekindle the awe of the space program, by attempting something extreme.

lets just focus on Mars first.

 
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Originally posted by OmegaDoom:

lets just focus on Mars first.

Or we could just do the sane thing and focus on Earth orbit and Luna.

 
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but that won’t “rekindle the awe of the space program”.

now, i know what you’re thinking. you’re thinking that since we already put a man on the Moon, people won’t be as much in awe about the putting a man on Mars, since we’ve already done it before.

hoever, this is based on faulty or limited comprehension of cosmology, because we really haven’t done it before. the Moon is not a planet, so technically, we never really left Earth. Luna is still within the bounds of Earth. we don’t need to reach actual escape velocity to reach the Moon. the Moon is not proper space exploration.

if brought to the public properly, the whole Man on Mars thing could have nearly all the awe the Moon thing used to have. it may be less inconceivable, but i don’t think it’s any less uncanny or dream-food.

especially if we colonize Mars, which shouldn’t be a lot more difficult than just visiting, considering how difficult a return ticket to Mars is anyway. could you consider humans being stationed on freaking Mars two years at a time, while we wait for them to come back from the other side of the Sun?

 
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Without a proper set of orbital facilities, and a mining/ fuel extraction / launching facility on Luna, we’ll never get to Mars, not in a colonial way. We need Luna’s decreased gravity to make it economical. Otherwise we’re limited to just sending robot probes.

As I’ve said before, it is also far better to perfect artificial biosphere technology in Earth orbit and on Luna, where help is days away at most, than carting it to Mars and hoping it works – cos help’s half a year away at best.

 
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well yes, if we want to colonise Mars, we can use some practice on the Moon for sure. i think they’re actually sorta working on that.

as for the rest…i’m not so sure it would make that much difference. i don’t think we can really make much on the Moon that’s going to help them a lot on Mars unless it’s for practice to able to do the same on Mars. perhaps fuel, but then, if we can even make fuel on the Moon (where there’s no fossil fuel present, so this should be unlikely), fuel is mostly only needed to launch from Earth. launching off of Mars doesn’t take a lot of fuel, and simply floating through space hardly costs any.
and what’s more, if we can build fuel on the Moon, we should be able to build it on Mars, too.

what is a Moon base really going to do for our Mars mission outside of practice? no i think mostly we should start by having robots build us the Mars base for us to go to first. well that and practice, with a Moon colony as a dress-reheasal.

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but when i say colony i really just mean 2 or maybe a handful of guys staying there for the time being until the planet is close enough again for them to come back, at which point we may choose to send a new crew to replace them.

 
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There’s water on the moon. That’ll give us oxygen and hydrogen. We don’t need fossil fuels, because an internal combustion engine is a piss-poor way to propell a rocket.

The lower gravity is also going to be essential to use as a springboard to launch these massive colonisation ships, full of supplies and construction material, necessary to founding a new colony on a world o far away. At least with the moon, if you forget something it can be rocketed up three days later. With Mars, you have much greater distances to take into consideration – so EVERYTHING you need for the first few years, needs to go with you.

 
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isn’t rocket-fuel usually engineered out of fossil fuel? …hmm, i guess not. i guess we could make us liquid hydrogen or stuff like that on the moon, using solar power.

The lower gravity is also going to be essential to use as a springboard to launch these massive colonisation ships, full of supplies and construction material, necessary to founding a new colony on a world o far away

well how are you going to get all that material on the Moon? we can’t just teleport it there. it either has to be fabricated on the Moon, or it has to be brought there from Earth anyhow. i don’t see the advantage in launching off of Earth, landing it on the Moon and launching it from there as opposed to just launching it off of Earth and going directly to Mars.

the only way is if there are somehow equipment or supplies or such, that we can’t have robots create for us on Mars, but we can create on the Moon out of Lunar resources.

At least with the moon, if you forget something it can be rocketed up three days later.

errr… yeah, that would be really funny. “oops, i forgot something”. but i don’t think this is a likely occurence, that they will simply forget to bring something along, find out within a few days, DID have it on the Moon to go with them, manage to find it and launch it after the space-ship to catch up with it…it just seems very unlikely, and to go to all that trouble just to save you a few bucks when that unlikely event happens on launching a shuttle after the spaceship to catch up with it…

With Mars, you have much greater distances to take into consideration – so EVERYTHING you need for the first few years, needs to go with you.

two years. every two years, Earth and Mars are in relative proximity. then you have a few weeks perhaps to arrange everything you need, but the rest of the two years, forget it. but of course, any supplies they need on Mars can already be brought there two years earlyer, along with perhaps some replacements for broken robots that built their base on Mars over a few years.


…but perhaps there’s an even better idea: the orbital tower. if we build ourselves a 21st century Tower of Babel; or space elevator somewhere on the equator high enough that the centrifugal force essentially makes it weightless, any undertaking like this will become so much easier.

 
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Itll be almost impossible to launch a Big ship from earth. If we were to build a colonization or large ship for whatever reason, the thruster pack would have to be so totally massive, If it is even possible to chuk something as big as a colonization ship into space from earth using current methods

(http://www.davidreneke.com/fantastic-images-inside-a-space-shuttle/
If you look at the picture on the top, the fuel tank used to break orbit is bigger then the shuttle itself!)

I think large for scale space operations, If we actually plan to start a REAL colony on mars (not just some mangily space huts), we would not only need a base on the moon, but a vessel big and efficient enough to make the journey their and back in reasonable time (to resupply, bring back research, people and any ressources gained).
to launch such a ship, we would need moon base. their is simply no alternative.
if we were to build a fleet of ships with current tech, from earth, and send them to mars, it simply wouldn’t WORK as well and cost the same…

plus the long term infastruture (moon base, space elevators, ect) gained would continue to be useful for future construction/missons.

But of course, this is all impossible until somone thinks up and gets funding for a space elevator.

 
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and how did you plan to get all this material on the Moon, then? you can’t solve a problem by adding to it.

the idea is not to build a large colonisation ship, but to send some robots to Mars, make them build us a base, and then shuttle some people to Mars when we’re satisfied with the Mars base being already habitably in place.

 
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Originally posted by OmegaDoom:

and how did you plan to get all this material on the Moon, then? you can’t solve a problem by adding to it.

Well, of some relevance might be the comparatively minor fact that the moon is made out of the required materials.

Just a thought.