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Sunday, July 17, 2011

«Goodbye Future»

I feel like the future has been stolen from me.

Colonizing Space - '70s Style!


Where's my damn space colonies? Flying car? Mr. Fusion?! Nope. Just a retired 30-year-old shuttle program and a cancelled space telescope.

At least the Russians are getting their shit together. Monday they will launch a Cold War era telescope. They still have manned missions to space. Looks like we called "winner" of the Cold War a bit prematurely.

And how's China coming along? Better than the US I'm sure, at least they're trying!1

1: Yes, I mad.

9 comments:

  1. Space travel is like solar panels (http://www.mastermarf.com/2010/03/dirty-solar-power.html) in that it's just not that useful.
    Vid

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  2. It is sad. It's not about being useful, it's about exploration and adventure.

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  3. That's why it's best left for relatively easy times in the world, like the fifties or sixties, when their aren't as many wars and economic struggles.
    Vid

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  4. @ Vid: One could argue that it is useful. Colonization of space is the most useful thing humanity could possibly do.

    We have all our eggs in one basket. It's not a matter of if, but when a catastrophic event will occur on Earth that is significant enough to threaten human existence.

    We need the technology to find asteroids far in advance. The past couple "close ones" were not seen until about a week before their approach. Once we do find one with our name on it, we need the technology, ability, and time to do something about it. Stagnation is not going to accomplish anything.

    If our actions fail to prevent an impact, wouldn't it be nice to have a backup? Colonies of humans elsewhere? The loss of Earth would be the worst event in human history, but at least it wouldn't be the end of human history.

    The apocalyptic aside, there's been so many inventions that were designed for space exploration that have found better use in day-to-day life. I've seen figures as high as $10 returned on every dollar spent on NASA due to technological progress.

    You speak of times of economic struggles, yet we spend as much on a war in the Afghan desert in 2 years as we have on the entire 50 year history of NASA. Seems to me if saving money were your goal, you'd cut back a bit on the war expenses.

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  5. I agree on the war thing, but I just don't think the colonization of space is feasible. Humans evolved specifically for this planet. Also, technological gains would be made too if we explored places like the deep ocean, which is right here on the planet and requires no space ship, and yet is so unknown to us. Vid

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  6. @ Vid: Indeed humans did evolve specifically for this planet. In fact specifically for certain climates on this planet. Humans also evolved a brain that allows us to build our own environments.

    Exploring the oceans is something that needs to be done in addition to exploring space. You've no argument from me there. The technological gains would be different from each, so both should be explored. No space ship in the ocean, but you'd need a submarine that can withstand the pressures in the deep ocean.

    Funny little side-note. We've mapped most of what we know about the ocean floor with satellites. Underwater mountains create a bit more gravity, so the water swells up around them. While the effect is hardly noticeable, satellites are able to measure the altitude of the ocean's surface with enough precision to make a general contour map of the ocean floor. We needed space to map our oceans. Go figure.

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  7. Just because the shuttle program is the only manned space travel we have doesn't mean we need to use old technology. Even without, say, vaccinations, leech-bleeding still wouldn't be a good idea. Getting rid of the shuttles opens the way for new methods.
    Vid

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  8. I have a question. In the event that the human race evacuates earth, in your opinion, should it take any gays with it?
    Vid

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  9. @ Vid: Of course. An evacuation would suggest getting people to safety. Even if the purpose of the colony is to repopulate, being gay doesn't make one sterile.

    If the idea of reproduction with the opposite sex is so distasteful, there's always donors and artificial insemination.

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Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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