Debate and Discussion

Ignoring technological advancements
timelike01 at 7:53AM, April 10, 2008
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Let me see if I understand this. After Thomas Edison invented the phonograph, people were awestruck and amazed at that technological miracle. But after Burt Rutan launched the first privately-financed resuable spaceship TWICE within one week - something that has NEVER been done before – most people ignored it. To that I have to ask, why is it that people 100 years ago were astounded by technological breakthroughs, while the people of today routinely ignore technological breakthroughs. If we're so much more advanced than the folks of Edison's time, why were people of that olden era more intellectually curious than the people of today?!? If folks had the same lackluster attitude toward the invention of the phonograph, technologies like CDs and MP3s might not be here today. Likewise, the lack of support for privatized space travel might lead to the end of all space travel within the foreseeable future.

I know, I know, I know! People have the right to disregard technical breakthroughs if they want. But I still say it doesn't make sense for so many people in this so-called “21st century” to be so disinterested in technical breakthroughs. And yes, I also know that there were skeptics in Edison's time who didn't care about his or anyuone else's inventions. All I can be certain of is that this disregard technical breakthroughs is getting on my last nerve!
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
Product Placement at 8:35AM, April 10, 2008
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I'm assuming that you're talking about space ship one that he launched, couple of years back. As far as I was concerned people were interested in that event but I think the reason you didn't see the same “holy crap is that real?” reaction is because when the phonograph came out, there was nothing like that around. No president made it new and unique.

Space ship one was like you said the first privately-financed, reusable spaceship. Even though that is a great achievement there were plenty of greater things that had already been done. Russia, America and Europe have already launched an armada of ships and satellites, we have build a number of space stations and also been to the moon. All Burt managed to do was to design a ship that was cheaper to launch and therefor could be done by huge companies instead of a major nation.

I think you won't see a similar hoorah until someone comes up with a something huge like anti-aging serum, anti-gravity or get the first man to Mars.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:49PM
TheMidge28 at 9:50AM, April 10, 2008
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I'm assuming that you're talking about space ship one that he launched, couple of years back. As far as I was concerned people were interested in that event but I think the reason you didn't see the same “holy crap is that real?” reaction is because when the phonograph came out, there was nothing like that around. No president made it new and unique.

Space ship one was like you said the first privately-financed, reusable spaceship. Even though that is a great achievement there were plenty of greater things that had already been done. Russia, America and Europe have already launched an armada of ships and satellites, we have build a number of space stations and also been to the moon. All Burt managed to do was to design a ship that was cheaper to launch and therefor could be done by huge companies instead of a major nation.

I think you won't see a similar hoorah until someone comes up with a something huge like anti-aging serum, anti-gravity or get the first man to Mars.

ditto.
timelike01 these threads would be better suited for the D&D forum.
and you have posted a lot of them in the last 24 hrs.
you might want to pace yourself.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:24PM
Product Placement at 10:24AM, April 10, 2008
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timelike01 these threads would be better suited for the D&D forum.

It sounds like you're telling him to go talk about Dungeons and Dragon.

*Snicker*

God. That made me lame.
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:49PM
TheMidge28 at 10:30AM, April 10, 2008
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TheMidge28
timelike01 these threads would be better suited for the D&D forum.

It sounds like you're telling him to go talk about Dungeons and Dragon.

well there was a double meaning intended. ;)


last edited on July 14, 2011 4:24PM
shaneronzio at 11:00AM, April 10, 2008
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timelike01
Let me see if I understand this. After Thomas Edison invented the phonograph, people were awestruck and amazed at that technological miracle. But after Burt Rutan launched the first privately-financed resuable spaceship TWICE within one week - something that has NEVER been done before – most people ignored it.


when we look back through history, we can see what made an impact and what didn't.
at the time, photography
The first permanent photograph was an image produced in 1826 by the French inventor Nicéphore Niépce.
we have also learned in recent months that the first recording goes back to France, before edisons claim also.
and Marconi invented the phone, so…
alot of what Edison did was improve what was already in the works, and he was able to create the media buzz because of his name recognition.
it happens all the time.

after all, Al Gore invented the internet…remember.(hahaha)

You understand how huge the privately-financed resuable spaceship project is, but, the powers that be aren't ready to acknowledge it.

corporations own the media.

…but that is all changing, now that the internet genie is out of the bottle.
:)
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Updates Monday, Wenzday & FRIDAY
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:33PM
ozoneocean at 8:59PM, April 10, 2008
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Spaceship One wasn't a breakthrough. It was a purely commercial demonstration, with no prospect of realistic commercial value in the near future. The prize they won for achieving their goal was a pittance compared to what they had to invest to get there. And it was all fairly pointless really, since they've not come up with any clever business models to make it work and the tech they used has already been made and been exceeded by various government projects over the years in many different countries.

I'm sorry, but “space Tourism” isn't something you'd want to invest in. And at the moment the “space crafts” are not much more than high altitude aircraft.

Even mining in space is unviable until someone is willing to waste trillions to put all the infrastructure in place… - with no expectation of a useful return.
Only governments can afford to do that. business can't run on a loss. In this field massive government subsidy is traditional and required.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:30PM
timelike01 at 7:09AM, April 11, 2008
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That's one of the main problem I have with living in this so-called “society.” People tend to pick and choose what's possible and what's not. Privatized space travel is impossible, but a (very expensive) U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq is possible. You can't change the world if you decide it's unchangable. Yet the truth of the matter is that change is an unavoidable consequence of existence.

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
timelike01 at 7:14AM, April 11, 2008
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And if privatzed space travel is impossible (I know you didn't say “impossible”, but it still sounds like it), then why is SpaceShipTwo being built?



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceShipTwo

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
Vagabond at 8:39AM, April 11, 2008
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I don't think anyone even remotely suggested that it was impossible. Just that it's really, really stupid right now because all it showed is that a group of people had enough money to match a desperately underfunded space program. It didn't advance technology; it just used what was lying around.

And comparing it to the War in Iraq… well, doesn't make sense. Um, huh?
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:38PM
Product Placement at 8:46AM, April 11, 2008
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Well I for one never said that privatizing space travel was impossible but it sure as hell is one heck of expensive undertaking. There are allot of companies interested in commercializing space through tourism and asteroid mining. The Virgin Galactic is a clear example of that. This is the first step where the ultra rich and elite get to brave the dept or space even if it's only for few measly minutes.

Eventually the tourism will take on a new level where space station dedicated to tourism will appear and once a lunar base is completed and a permanent crew starts working on the moon it wouldn't take long for companies to start building extensions to the original base aimed for tourism. That is of course is the market is still there at the time.

Again though this is still kinda old news for the media to make a circus out of. I mean sure they will report it but don't expect a full week exclusive coverage.

Also I would like to add that public interest will be slightly minimized because this will all be unavailable to them at the beginning. I mean with starting tickets of 200.000$ no one normal can afford that. But trust me. Rich people will jump at this.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:49PM
cartoonprofessor at 3:11PM, April 11, 2008
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Also I would like to add that public interest will be slightly minimized because this will all be unavailable to them at the beginning. I mean with starting tickets of 200.000$ no one normal can afford that. But trust me. Rich people will jump at this.
But then, a ‘technological breakthrough’ like the ipod DID create a storm… people are not uninterested in technological advances so much as kind of numb to it all because its rate of advance has sped up astronimically since Edison.

(Aso people are dumbed down a bit with information overload these days, back then you only got info thru word of mouth, newspapers and such)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
Hawk at 10:50PM, April 11, 2008
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timelike01, there's actually an “Edit” link on each of your posts that allows you to change your post to include things you forgot. This could help reduce all those double-posts.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
Product Placement at 2:06AM, April 12, 2008
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cartoonprofessor
Product Placement
Also I would like to add that public interest will be slightly minimized because this will all be unavailable to them at the beginning. I mean with starting tickets of 200.000$ no one normal can afford that. But trust me. Rich people will jump at this.
But then, a ‘technological breakthrough’ like the ipod DID create a storm… people are not uninterested in technological advances so much as kind of numb to it all because its rate of advance has sped up astronimically since Edison.

(Aso people are dumbed down a bit with information overload these days, back then you only got info thru word of mouth, newspapers and such)

Ah yes. The main reason behind public interest in i-pod and similar devices is because it's something that makes their life more comfortable. I-pot eliminated the need for cd's and cassette so now you could contain a wast library of music in your chest pocket.

Also: About technology speeding up. Yeah, freaking hell you're right. One field of research that completely blindsided me was prosthetics. They now have fricking artificial arms out there that can be connected to you nerves and controlled by your brain, basically giving you an arm similar to the one Luke Skywalker had in the end. And if that is not enough, they now are marketing artificial hearing devices that for deaf people that transfers the information to a chip in their brain and they are working on artificial eyes for blind people and have come pretty far in that too.





Those were my two cents.
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ozoneocean at 11:16PM, April 12, 2008
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cartoonprofessor
But then, a ‘technological breakthrough’ like the ipod DID create a storm… people are not uninterested in technological advances so much as kind of numb to it all because its rate of advance has sped up astronimically since Edison.
I-pods aren't an advancement by any stretch. MP3 players came onto the market as a way to cash in on mp3 sound compression, which was popularised through the net as an easy way to share music with the slow bandwidth at the time.

The “i-pod” was nothing more than Apple's johnny come lately product that became synonymous with the Mp3 players generally because of their famous brand.

Popularising MP3 players was primarily driven originally through the use of illegal file trading. Without that your ipods would likely not exist. So in that way it WOULD be akin to possible success of privatised exploitation of space- like the popularisation of mp3s was subsidised by the unpaid use of musical artist's work, Private space travel can only succeed of the back of all those decades of government work and very likely a few more. ;)

Consider: Most “privatised space” idea are driven by pure fantasy at the moment, it's not even Scifi. Where are the economics? That's what privatisation is based on. It's not charity stuff… The energy it takes to actually get off of the planet and into orbit, or even further is mind-blowingly expensive, and only increasing in cost. The only ways to make that cheaper require government levels of investment… Space elevators? Alternative tech? Stuff you won't get a return on.

Tourism in space is silly. You can't fund it through that, it's just a gimmick. Like the Concorde didn't result in supersonic air travel for normal people… And mined material cost many times more in enery to retrieve from space than can ever fetch from sale, not to mention it cost a fraction to mine it here already…
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:30PM
cartoonprofessor at 11:49PM, April 12, 2008
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ozoneocean
cartoonprofessor
But then, a ‘technological breakthrough’ like the ipod DID create a storm… people are not uninterested in technological advances so much as kind of numb to it all because its rate of advance has sped up astronimically since Edison.
I-pods aren't an advancement by any stretch. MP3 players came onto the market as a way to cash in on mp3 sound compression, which was popularised through the net as an easy way to share music with the slow bandwidth at the time.


Hence the inverted commas, Ozone.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
Product Placement at 8:33AM, April 13, 2008
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Don't underestimate human curiosity. That odd desire of ours to go to unique places and travel where few have been is the reason why all the continents (well, except Antarctica) where populated early on in human history. It is the reason we travel to the poles, climb the highest mountains and explore the ocean floors. It is why we went to the Moon and now wish to go to Mars.

Virgin already has over 200 pre-paid tickets for that space flight ride of his. The concept of being able to see the earth from orbit is just too appealing. Sure it will be a gimmick for rich people. Especially in the beginning. But as time passes and the trips become more efficient and lucrative the price goes down. It is not within anyones price range to pay 200.000$ for one trip but it is a large dive from the original price tag of 20 million$. Virgin also promises that once all five of his Space Ship two models are ready and flying regular trips, the price will go further down. Maybe as low as 20.000$. Again, still an ouch for us middle classed but still an improvement.

Later versions of space travel (and I mean much later) that include orbital hotels or one placed on the moon will have unique applications unavailable on earth. Some theorize, for example, that an appealing factors for an orbital hotel would be it's unique view over Earth and weightlessness. I can easily for see a new 1000 mile club that consist of people who have “done it” while in weightless space.

Lunar hotels could also attract attention. If situated close by, it could offer field trips to the original moon landing site (that ought to silence those “we never landed on the moon” conspiracy theorists). Naturally there would be an erected fence or something similar around it to prevent people from damaging the site for example by walking over the original footprints. A crazier idea is if they would erect a dome large enough on the moon they could take advantage of the fact that man weighs 1/6 of his total weight there and give the inhabitants the change of flying by strapping wings on their arms.

While these are far fetch ideas today it is not impossible to imagine that the moment large corporations get the opportunity to profit from space travel (and that will not happen without huge advancements in space travel(which requires government involvement)) there will be a huge explosion in commercial space travel.

—————-

Since you mentioned space elevators Oz…

Space elevator is a dream I hope to see become a reality. With the invention of Carbon nanotubes (think strings as strong as diamonds) we are closer to the possibility then ever before. creating a cable that could reach outer space would lover the cost of taking material into orbit considerably. With that established, a much larger space stations could be constructed on the other end that could include a construction platform and a launch pad for ships that never have to land on Earth. That could in turn become the point where corporations will become more interested in space ventures. A far away dream that has been proposed is the possibility to build similar elevators on the Moon and on Mars and have ferries transport between them. If an Earth based elevator can be made the other two will become much easier to construct due to the less powerful gravitational pull those planets have. That of course will only happen once permanent settlements exists on those terrestrial bodies. One can dream though….
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:49PM
ozoneocean at 10:43AM, April 13, 2008
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It's interesting, but tourism just won't make it possible. That will only ever be a side thing, piggybacking on other initiatives. That's how it always works.

And as I've said, these so-called “space-ships” are just ultra high altitude aircraft. That's tech almost 50 years old. Actually next year it will be exactly that :)

That's embarrassing… :(

———————————
All I say is that if governments put enough cash into the R&D needed to work it out as well as enough to build the infrastructure, THEN it will become cost effective for “private” interests to take a hand. As always happens with these massive projects.

It's like Iraq.-No private interest could ever possibly make money from the invasion without the U.S. taxpayer funding it. But because the U.S. tax-payer does just that, it's a bonanza.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:30PM
Product Placement at 11:13AM, April 13, 2008
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It will be a side thing, don't get me wrong. That's how it has been so far. Orbital hotels won't pop up until massive effort has been put into improving the current space station technology. You won't see a lunar hotel until well after there's an established permanent lunar base, which actually is not that far away. The next, huge, governmental initiative is to go to Mars and one idea to do just that is to build a Lunar base and launch the Mars lander from there. The decreased gravity will allow for the creation of a rocket that can take much larger supply over to the red planet. Another incentive for a lunar base is to “farm” the Moon for Helium-3(H3). Since the Moon has no magnetic shielding (which is a problem for long duration visitors due to possible radiation poisoning(thus the lunar base would require some shielding)) it's surface has been constantly bombarded with particles from the sun including H3. It has been proposed that H3 is an excellent fuel for fusion plants but this chemical is rare here on earth but abundant on the moon.

Technically though, space hotel venture has already began. For a cool 20 mill. You can pop over to the International space station. Fancy a trip?

————-

Also: SpaceShip One is a little more than just a high altitude plane. It is capable of sub-orbit. It basically propels itself out our atmosphere but doesn't use enough force to break free from orbit nor maintain a stable one. Basically, Earth pulls at it enough for it to loose it's momentum and re-enter the atmosphere. During its flight though it will rotate around much of earth but not a complete cycle (thus being sub-orbital). This will allow the people on board to experience space for few minutes.

Apparently the next design (SpaceShip Three) is suppose to be able to go full orbit and have docking capabilities thus being able to stop by space stations.

This may be old tech. But it's improved old tech, Or at very least, cheaper old tech. That is a necessary feature for privatized space program so I will call it progress.
Those were my two cents.
If you have any other questions, please deposit a quarter.
This space for rent.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:49PM

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