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Why ask why if you're going to ignore the answers?

Posted by: spacester - Sat Feb 17, 2007 8:32 am
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Why ask why if you're going to ignore the answers? 
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Post Why ask why if you're going to ignore the answers?   Posted on: Sat Feb 17, 2007 8:32 am
Sigurd asked "Why Space in general"?

I replied. It was not short. I've been working on it for years.

Not a single response from anyone.

Maybe the words were too big?

Maybe the sentences were too long?

Maybe the thoughts were too deep?

What does it mean when a guy posts something like that and it gets ZERO response?

Not even ONE little scrap of feedback . . . .

***

I have drawn my own conclusions and they are not favorable to the space advocate community. I thought I'd give y'all a chance to either reinforce that conclusion or perhaps make it a little less harsh.

I get the feeling that the main problem with it was that y'all didn't come up with it yourself and it was only my second post here and your collective pride is more important than an actual answer to the most important question.

This is all just a social game to you people isn't it? Does anybody else actually care about promoting space flight or what? Am I the only space advocate willing to do more than surf the internet and perhaps dash off a few words now and then?

How would you people feel if you put that much work into something only to have it completely ignored? Think about it.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Feb 17, 2007 9:43 am
His reply then: http://spacefellowship.com/Forum/viewto ... 3043#23043

With all do respect, but if you get no replie doesn't mean we didn't read it. What you've written, we allready 'know'. It's like telling to a F1-freak that M Schumacher won the WC in 2000.

I don't understand why you are 'mad/angry' about no replies? You are saying that this is just a social game for us, well i've news for you, replying on something is the soical part and we didn't do that but you wanted it. You're 'attacking' yourself in my humble opinion.

Allthough i don't agree with a few things of your essay, such as bringing launch costs down can only be done by space tourism. I know what you mean by this, but a rocket can't get any cheaper then the price you can built them. And that will always be pretty high. Unless you only want the millionairs and billionairs to have some fun up there, nothing else will happen. They don't care if the 'rest/poor' of humanity gets into space. The space elevator is the only option to bring launch costs really down. I mean really down. If you can buy a ride into space for 1 ton of cargo for just a fraction of todays cost, you know what will happen then? Every company with a few million euros of capital can design/engineer a space station built it and launch it. For just a few millions. Now you have to spend only millions to even get a small cargo into space.

On your Earths population part. You forget a few things. First, the major part of the growth comes from poor countries. They won't get any chance to buy a ride into space. Not even with 100 space elevators. Plus that there is almost a decline in the population of the wealthy countries. Why? Because they think before they breed. They want a career and you cant have a career with 10 children. Besides, there is a lot of land where the population density is very low, there is life beyond the city you know. Heck, we have a whole continent where only a few hundred scientist live. ;)

Earths economy then: first i have to quote you
Quote:
Growth is a fundamental precept of business: a business that does not grow is not thought to be healthy. At the same time, if basic resources are limited and/or become ever more difficult to extract, and the extraction of resources correlates with ecological disaster, then we have two concepts on a collision course: growth versus sustainability.

Now i'm not the expert on economics here, but i understand a few things most people don't. If you believe them or not is your choice. First of all, it is in my opinion a fundamental flaw in our economic processes. Secondly, inflation is part of this flaw. Most people don't even realise what inflation is. Simply put, too much (paper/electronic) money in circulation then that the banks really can provide (with goods, gold or other precious things). Ever wonder why a cars price is now more like 20k euro instead of a fraction of that when the first Ford T-model was released? Sure a Subaru is more complicated then a Ford T-model by our standards, but not then. I suggest you watch the documentary 'the money masters' (3,5 hours) if you want all the info. If you believe it, it's up to you.

Quote:
The notion that money is 'spent' on space is silly. All space activity means money changing hands right here on Earth.

Not true. Well, actually it is. But we're talking about NASA right here, aren't we. The Russians don't have the trillions, and a ride into space only cost about 40 million there. Geez, i wonder why.

About the rest. I bet you have that notion from Dr. Zubrins book or movie the mars underground. First of all, there are other living beings outside the US in case you didn't notice. Secondly, governments donot have a business approach. They don't have the goal to make money. Actually, they only spent money. They either need a goal-driven approach or they can't do it at all. The only reason they could do it is because they have the billions and not the coorporations (allthough that last part is not entirely true). As long as NASA only builts a launch system which will again cost a few billions to develop (with existing technologies...) and about 400-500 million for every launch, they aren't going anywhere. Oh yes, 20 people yes. But the rest of humanity? Doubtfull. They even talked about 'US sepremacy in space'. Anyway, if humanity wants into space, NASA simply has to back off.

/edit/
The economic model is based on infinte growth. Infinite growth simply doesn't exist. Now there are practicly infinte resources in space, but do you want to keep working with this flawed notion of infinite growth? It's simply postponing the end.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Feb 17, 2007 2:42 pm
Hey Spacester,

I'm sorry that you're frustrated that I nor anyone else replied.
But I certainly read it.

I created the topic, because with nextgen (working name for a few hundred times larger Space Fellowship) I would like to have a place stating why space is needed, why the space fellowship exists etc.

I highly value your contribution and I hope you understand that running a company (I actually worked 75+ hours last week, including saturday and sunday) plus the spacefellowship (verifying new members manually, posting news, developing nextgen (hundred of thousands lines of code, in development for almost a year)) isn't something easy to do... and I'm often frustrated myself that I'm not capable of doing more.. but we all have our limits.

Same with the news section I (and others) post news very often, but we know we'll probably never get a reply or any social value in return.

Statistics shows that thousands of people visit this website daily, most only to read news or forum topics, never to reply or comment themself.

While there where not many replies, the topic I started was accessed 234 times. Soon or already cashed in google and also listed in our own forum search, so people will read it.. for as long as this website exists.

And since you have done such a great work, I may use some of your ideas and thoughts for the nextgen website.
I may neither agree with everything in it.. but personally I can't see how I can ever agree with everyone.. I didn't created the topic with the idea of creating a debate.

Quote:
This is all just a social game to you people isn't it? Does anybody else actually care about promoting space flight or what? Am I the only space advocate willing to do more than surf the internet and perhaps dash off a few words now and then?

You may or may not have noticed that this forum is used by many people inside the aerospace industry. With companies presenting themself, others unable to public state their employer etc.. I'm sure many are more than surfing the internet.. only same with nextgen (my own contribution in development) it takes often years to have something to show... and I know several projects.. ideally good that never made it public.. just because there where too few other people to support or contribute to it... I wish it was easier than this.. but all development needs time.. and is very slow...

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Post In my defense . . .   Posted on: Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:17 pm
Sigurd, I apologize for hassling you about this. You have shown remarkable dedication on this site, and I salute you. Having made my point (and about to make some more points), I want to make sure you realize that IMO you are doing a great job here.

Perhaps the next post will clarify my position and purpose.


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Post The Future depends on us!   Posted on: Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:33 pm
(Long post warning)

Just for the record, the last thing I wanted to do was introduce myself to this forum as a rant-master or an Angry Guy. So I waited until I saw a topic where I could share my answer to The Big Question and there it was and there it is. Also for the record, I'm not angry, but I sure as heck am frustrated. Not over just this particular situation, in general I am frustrated because IMO my fellow space advocates are doing it wrong. Our advocacy has no impact in the real world and I'm fed up with it.

A new approach is needed.

What is the point of tens of thousands of posts about all the details of past, present and future space flight when it all vanishes into the cybervoid with no impact? Have you heard the phrase "preaching to the choir"? I for one am not willing to continue the insanity. I'm not joking about the Space Imperative. This is serious business to me. If I believe my own words, and I do :-), then the Space Imperative becomes a Personal Imperative. I hope to infect others with a sense of urgency and importance.

I do not work in the industry. I am a Mechanical Engineer and Philosopher (and not embarrassed to say so) on a mission to make a difference; until recently there was no alternative open to me other than posting on forums etc. So I have created a website that at least has the theoretical possibility of making a difference. Maybe no one will show up but at least I can say I tried, and that the chance of making a difference is greater than zero, which is the amount of impact I have seen from past forum postings by thousands of sincere space advocates over 6 years time.

It is my observation that the number one trait needed to be a space flight advocate is cynicism. Those of us who dare break this social norm with our optimism are dismissed as crackpots, never mind the quality of the content: the tone is optimistic so the guy must be crazy. Therefore, this post, which serves to announce my new website, www.spacesterzone.com , will no doubt be seen as nothing more than a crazy guy's self-promotion by most of you. Nevertheless I am interested in recruiting you to my cause. (The rest of this weekend is a sneak preview of my site; I'll be installing forums and other stuff by Monday AM.)

I am pretty much done doing business as usual, the question is if my new approach will gain any traction.

Here's a major problem: in the real world of politics, as an American, I have no kinship with all you good folks from Europe and elsewhere. I am painfully aware that there is a world of space advocacy outside the USA; indeed the few fellow optimists I have spotted all seem to be European. 'Painful' because I have not (yet) found a way to harness your precious optimism, a failure on my part. Maybe my charge of universal cynicism is unfair to some individuals and if so I apologize (without retracting the general statement).

If I'm going to make a difference, it will be by influencing the decision makers. I have chosen to create a way for individual American space advocates to collectively put pressure on the US House of Representatives. It's not my fault that Congresspersons are not at all concerned with the opinions of non-citizens. Indeed, most individual Reps don't even seem to be interested in any opinions coming from outside their district.

Space flight is a matter of worldwide importance, trust me I know that. I am not the kind of American that has no use for non-American points of view; quite the opposite. But unless I'm willing to wait for a World Government (not!), I need to work within my country's political system.

I should point out, since y'all don't know me, that you will not find a more loyal advocate of New Space, hopefully my Space Imperative makes that clear. I also refuse to let that stance turn me against NASA. I was a bit of a NASA basher before Dr. Griffin came along and I was the first person to post at uplink.space.com about ALL of the following: Armadillo Aerospace, Brad Edwards and his Space Elevator, JP Aerospace, asteroid mining in the near term and many others. I was ahead of my time for those folks and it took a year or two for those ideas to become 'acceptable for discussion'.

I am a Philosopher and a Futurist. There, I said it. Call it an ego-trip if you will, I suppose you would be correct in saying so. But I don't see how I can make a difference without going on an ego trip, and reluctance to do so is what has held me back as long as I have.

I am pretty sure that I have never written anything with so many "I"s in it, lol, Just so you know, I'm not comfortable with it. But the fact remains is that I have predicted more than a few things and have been doing this long enough now that I have demonstrated to myself that the title of Futurist is applicable and defensible.

OK enough already, sorry for the long post . . . . allow me to close with the following, in my defense and in the interest of shaking some of you folks from your ineffective routine.

If you want to participate in a site that calls itself a 'Fellowship' I would suggest that you not leave it up to Sigurd to be the only one to respond to posts that are about more than the hardware and missions we all like to dream about. If this was an actual fellowship, at least one of you fellows would have said something within 30 days to a new fellow with something important to say.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:41 pm
I think we're all frustrated with how this industry is going.. and how we want to achieve things and I do hope more people like you speak out and support this industry, support change, progress and keep ideals, ideas open and alive. Often it requires hundred of thousands of people to support a goal, to give a few the chance to actually develop the means to reach it... Celebreties, 1 person often enjoy more press and news than space exploration in general. While space is the largest place, future of our grandchildren and the only solution to save us from extinction.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:50 pm
A fellowship isn't without falling.. and rising again. Right now we're still rising.. with now and then some trouble along the road. But I promise when nextgen is released, you'll see we're moving into the right direction. But it takes a while to have several thousands of active members to give every topic the attention it deserves. I'll send you an email in a second.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:43 pm
Hi Spacester,

I think you answered your own question in the first sentence of that post, where you said, "You were probably looking for something shorter". I certainly was. I didn't even read it all. It was not a snub, I just couldn't make myself read all that. And people who don't care, and I mean people other than us space nuts, are definitely going to tune out such a long winded statement, and I was looking for that short catchy grabber to convince people who are already starting to tune you out when you just say the word space.


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Post A rebuttal   Posted on: Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:44 pm
Stefan, I'm sorry dude but your post exemplifies the self-defeating cynicism I'm talking about. I salute you for trying to address my entire post rather than cherry-picking things to attack.

I don't want to make an enemy of you but I need to refute your post in detail. Please do not take it personally, IMO you have simply fallen victim to the 'group-think' cynicism with most others.

Quote:
Unless you only want the millionaires and billionaires to have some fun up there, nothing else will happen. They don't care if the 'rest/poor' of humanity gets into space. The space elevator is the only option to bring launch costs really down. I mean really down.


Wow, there is so much to refute here. (BTW, please remember that it takes more words to explain these things to a bunch of cynics than to make the cynical statements themselves.)

The "only the rich folks will be going" argument is so false. 'Nothing else will happen' you say? Balderdash, all that statement means is that you are a cynic. Well this optimist is not willing to let the cynics rule the roost if he can help it.

First it has already been shown to be incorrect, in the sense that when a winner of a recent contest for a blackstorming flight couldn't afford the taxes, the industry stepped in with a solution. Name me ONE person working on space tourism who does not see it as vital to prove this misconception incorrect. Branson, Musk, Bezos, Rutan, Carmack, Aldrin, even Bigelow (who am I missing?) are all on the same page here. Every one of those guys has stated that the whole idea is to take the money from the rich bastards and plow that back into the business to lower launch costs. Every one of them says they want to bring space flight to the masses. You're saying all of them are liars? ;) Think about it: if they were really only interested in marketing to these mythical rich bastards who don't care about anybody else, wouldn't their public statements reflect that, so as to position themselves better for that market? I predict that less than 10% of the first 100 space tourists will fit the profile of a totally selfish tourist.

Note that IMO 'Space Adventure Participant' is no euphemism, that's what they are and that's what they are about and adventurers almost always want to see others follow them and share the adventure.

Secondly, to make that statement means that you threw out that part of my Space Imperative that explained why it will not be that way. I do not think that the rich bastards don't give a damn about anything but their own experience. The reality is that most of them 'get it' and are plunking down big bucks because they know they will hasten space flight for the masses. Have you read any interviews of Tito, Shuttleworth, Ansari, future 'tourists' who have plunked down huge deposits, etc? Why would they give up that interest income if not to provide the flight operator with working capital? It's not like they won't be able to buy a seat when the thing becomes operational.

I'm a big fan of the Space Elevator, I've corresponded with both Brad Edwards and Michael Laine. I think it will get built eventually, but your post seems to advocate sitting around for a few decades and wringing our hands in despair while we wait for (what you suppose is) the ultimate solution. Well you can wait, I won't, and what's more I respectfully request that you and your cynicism get the hell out of our way while we work on making rocketry affordable.

I would note that even a world with Space elevators will have rockets. Not every payload will match the elevators capability. How do you get into a polar orbit from a space elevator? Is our space development going to be limited to the maximum elevator payload?

I do not understand your words on inflation. Are you comparing or contrasting it with economic growth? In what way are your words relevant to my post? I was speaking of the imperative for economic growth by the developed countries, I do not think I "forgot a few things", I was addressing the future economics of those countries with the wherewithal to conquer space.

Quote:
. I bet you have that notion from Dr. Zubrins . . .


Nope, nuh-uh, not even, you are way off the mark here. These are my thoughts, a result of assimilation of much research, careful reading of the opinions of others, but mostly a logical development of what needs to happen to pull out collective butts out of the wringer. I am very much NOT a Zubrinite, heck I'm a Zubrin basher if anything.

Infinite growth is indeed a flawed concept - right up until we can tap (virtually) infinite resources. So IMO you have it completely backwards. After putting up with the negative effects of this flawed concept for centuries, you want to discard it just before it becomes a good thing. Heck yes, I'm willing to put off the task of dealing with this flawed concept until such time as we are space-faring, especially as I believe that the only way the concept can ruin us is to let it get in the way of fulfilling our destiny.

Finally, I would say that I totally reject the notion that what I wrote you folks 'already know'. That is complete BS. Show me somewhere else on the internet that provides the same line of reasoning. The fact is, at least IMO, that for whatever elitist and cynical reasons you may have you do not see me as 'qualified' to have these opinions. You assume I plagiarize? Well, these are my thoughts, baby, and just so you know, I'm the one accustomed to talking about the 'Church of Zubrin'. :-)

Please do not take this personally; I know that is asking a lot. But I've been dealing with cynics long enough and I'm done pulling my punches. You just happened to be the guy nice enough to respond to my little outburst.

On the clock of saving our civilization, the hour is late and those folks who claim to be space advocates but have a negative opinion of the possibilities of space flight are going to be getting an earful from me.


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Post What's the word count limit, then?   Posted on: Sun Feb 18, 2007 12:03 am
campbelp2002 wrote:
Hi Spacester,

I think you answered your own question in the first sentence of that post, where you said, "You were probably looking for something shorter". I certainly was. I didn't even read it all. It was not a snub, I just couldn't make myself read all that. And people who don't care, and I mean people other than us space nuts, are definitely going to tune out such a long winded statement, and I was looking for that short catchy grabber to convince people who are already starting to tune you out when you just say the word space.


I'm not sure how to respond in a nice way. I really am trying to be nice, but I am so fed up with this crap. Perhaps I am putting the cynicism I've observed at space.com onto you folks unfairly, I am trying to guard against that. But I see the same self-defeating attitude here.

So how much longer than a bumper sticker can something be before you will read it? Does the importance of the subject have any bearing on your decision? Do you first look for credentials before deciding?

If a presentation on the Space Imperative is not worth the time to read it, how can you call yourself a space advocate? Never mind actual advocacy, that's probably out of the question, but if space advocates cannot be bothered, how the hell are we going to make any progress?

What I find on the internet are individual pockets of space spectators, each made up of a collection of individuals who think that they are supporting space flight development, when in reality all they have done is remove their voices from popular public discourse.

Are you willing to do more than watch as year after year goes by without our voices making a difference? I am.

edit: removed a double negative from the last sentence. :-)


Last edited by spacester on Sun Feb 18, 2007 1:29 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post    Posted on: Sun Feb 18, 2007 12:37 am
Quote:
Please do not take this personally


I'm sorry to say... but somehow this is all personal.. we all I guess have been along this road many times before... while I would love to debate endlessly.. please.. stop it, since discussiions like this is a perfect example.. that may change opinion of you and me.. but not helping in general.

As admin.. I just have to ask to stop.. since this easily can get into a fight.. but feel free to keep discussing aerospace related topics.. just not who's cynical, why and not why... or if and when.. when or how... I can tell you.. if how an then.. then you may discuss it.. not just right now ;) (I love philosophy as well, same as Psychology)

So I think we all agree, what we need is not to question eachother right now right here.. but how to move others, or even make ourself more active, enthusiast to believe, dream and act in accordance to achieve a space faring humanity.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Feb 18, 2007 12:46 am
To add to my last post.. It's easy to question those who believe to be not believing enough... It's not in our interests to blame each other, to question the public for being ignorant as some may call it.. they only have different opinions and we need to respect other peoples ideals, ideas and opinions as well. As we hope that others respect ours.

The only question is how to get them to support it, without questioning their support, ideals, ideas etc.. else people only will return in kind.. questioning our ideas, ideals and may even hate us...

So since you love philosophy.. I think you've also heard a lot of psychology, please think about it.. "how" can we talk to people to make them support aerospace.. without facing their personal feelings, confront them with saying... you're doing it wrong.. you're laizy.. you're... and so on.. cause that's just wrong... haven't we all been wrong before ? and I do know we're all wrong today with some ideas and opinions.. but it's better to see it and learn from it... than to get questioned about it, some may even laugh at it etc.. we've all been childs, and we're all still learning!

So we just need to learn.. to be a very good teacher to the public.
And even if we don't agree how we do it.. just know.. diversity is something we need, no need to be afraid.. inside this industry, [we'll/we already] have many sub industries. And you're free to support those you see best fit. As long as there are enough supporters several of those may succeed and some may fail. I can only remember to see on this forum how many people thought SpaceShipOne would never reach space... I didn't hate them for not accepting the other idea.. I loved them for supporting others and supporting our goal. And one day other companies will succeed with rockets instead of planes also creating their ideas a reality. That's why I support all of them... And even if it's really creazy.. somehow they could be good for fundraising, awareness, entertainment, etc etc and so on. (for those who remember Blue Ridge Nebula, Odyssey Spacelines, Wannebe International Space Agency, etc, I sure did had a great time.. and I think many people learned about it, to make a difference between... insane dreamers and reality) Several of those faced me with potential lawsuits after I accepted their question to have a forum on this website along other companies. But I had to retract my offer after they started banning questions they didn't like, removing and editing other people posts on their name as they wanted to be it. Something I couldn't accept. I gave them a chance.. but as long as I can.. I'll stand up for all differences and diversity. Cause that's how we will succeed in reaching space!

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Post Re: A rebuttal   Posted on: Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:04 am
spacester wrote:
Please do not take this personally; I know that is asking a lot. But I've been dealing with cynics long enough and I'm done pulling my punches. You just happened to be the guy nice enough to respond to my little outburst.


Wel, no offence taken here, just a little, but i can have it. You may think i sound like a critic or cynic, which i am but i prefer to call it realstic. I mean, it's very great to dream what might be, but you have to do it also. Also, i am a great supporter of colonisation of space, don't be mistaken by my realism. Heck, i even went back to school to get an engineering degree to, eventually, get an earospace engineering degree.

I may have been a little bit to black and white about the rich bastards-lines, but you know that 100k for a ticket into suborbital is still a lot. Burt Rutan's most optimistic view on the price ticket will still be 20k at least for a suborbital ticket... in 15 years. Hopefully, by that time, they will have a decent heavy payload rocket and a orbital tourism going on, but you know it costs a hell of a lot more energy to get there. They even raised the price on the soyuz-rocket from 20 to 25 million. And that's talking about old, but reliable, technology in a country where the aerospace engineers probably don't get the same salary as in the US or Europe for that matter. If the US had a copy of the Soyuz and used it in the exact same manner, it would be a lot more expensive, simply because the salaries are more expensive. And as long as you need a lot of personel to launch a single rocket, it will always be expensive. That has nothing to do with cynisme, that's simple business economics.

About the space elevator, i am not suggesting that we simply would be waiting until the cable can be built. No not at all. What i meant was that the rockets have a 'ground-zero' on their price ticket. It can't be lowered if the price is as high as the price it cost to launch it. Off course, you can do it, but your company won't survive very long doing that. The space elevator simply has a much lower 'ground-zero' on it's price ticket. It needs a lot less energy and doesn't have, imho, the huge risks you have when launching a payload onto a rocket.

Yes, rockets will always exist, but not because of that space elevators can't handle every payload. Rockets will exist to travel from point A in space to point B in space. Why on earth would anyone built a huge, let's say, orbital space-hotel with artifical gravity and then design it in such a manner that it can only be done with an x amount of rocket launches for a pricetag that's xx amount higher then if you can do it would an x a mount more of space-elevator rides. That doesn't make any sense to me, certainly not in a business. If you would be a member of the board and would have to review the design, that's where the red marker comes into handy. That's simply realism.

If you want to do it, do it right. Spacetravel has been 'hyped' several times before and it cannot survive a lot more hypes. To more or less quote Burt Rutan: 'It is hard to do what is right'. And for an optimistic person, it is hard to see the reality.

No flame intended. Just wanted to make my point clear.

On another side note, if i may ask, what kind of background/job do you have? I mean, able to talk to Bradley C. Edwards, wow!

/edit/
Sorry, i missed a post of yours. Just another quick sidenote, check my reply here http://spacefellowship.com/Forum/viewto ... 3322#23322 and what i also want to add is that your road to space does not necessairely needs to be the best road to space.


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