Space yays

Started by comrade_general, November 26, 2011, 05:01:29 PM

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Past NASA disasters have not had that effect, but a collapse in confidence in NASA might be damaging.  Another of Ceglowski's points is that only national space agencies have expertise in the tedious issues around keeping primates healthy outside the atmosphere.  The private space firms focus on rocket science and telecommunications even if their patrons have dreams of space stations or Mars colonies.


You'd have thought that Blue Origin would have been developing some more expertise in this given their lean into the space tourism side, but maybe their much shorter tourist flights are just far too different to what's needed for keeping people alive over the time it takes to do a moon mission etc.
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...


I think that so far, the private space launch companies have only sent people outside the atmosphere for missions that can be measured in hours.  Its only projects like Apollo and the Soviet, NASA, and Chinese space stations which put people outside the atmosphere for weeks or months and faced issues like muscle degradation in free fall or how to recycle water with near 100% effectiveness.  Of course, most of these issues would get easier with space launches that cost hundreds of dollars per kilo not $10,000 per kilo.  Eg. one of the solutions for solar storms outside the magnetosphere is to give a spacecraft a 'storm shelter' of materials which resist those nasty particles, and have the crew hide inside when NASA tells them a solar storm is coming ... but that costs mass.


In the 1970s, Jeanne Robinson imagined what freefall dance might be for a novel.  The Challenger disaster prevented her from going to space and she retired from dance in 1987 because it was hard to get Canadian arts grants when you live outside the greater Toronto Area.  In 2007, she got to try it out on a parabolic flight  That little low-budget film is about beauty and joy and play, and the Ceglowskis of the world can't answer it, they have to try to talk around it in the logic of accountants and Teddy Roosevelt's critic who does not count.  In the end, so little of what we do is because its necessary or optimal.

I have trouble speaking sharply against human space travel in general, although I also have trouble believing in a future with thousands of humans as we know them beyond the Moon and the Lagrange points.