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X-Interest?

Posted by: Icarus_Melt76 - Sat Jun 19, 2004 8:15 pm
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X-Interest? 
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Post X-Interest?   Posted on: Sat Jun 19, 2004 8:15 pm
What is it in any of us that causes such strong feelings towards this whole enterprise? I'm sure it's a small percentage of members that have a connection between their 'listed' occupations and their shared interest in the X-prize. I started following Burt Rutan's exploits while enjoying my hang gliding years. Sometime around 1970 he introduced the first foot-launched hi-performance flying wing. Although heavier and more cumbersome than the availabe gliders.......it not only flew, but had staggering performance for a craft of such simplicity and easily erased most records to that date for height, speed and duration aloft. Since that time, he was 'THE MAN'. I have been following as much of his activities from drawings to Oshkosh as could be had. Basically....eyes to the skies since a tike. Wondering about the rest of you. Is it the tecnology, the 'space' travel, the X-prize and winning the money??? Just curious I guess. There's only 1 person that I know of who is interested. Most have no idea and show the same when told. Are we a unique species among the general population?


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Post Re: X-Interest?   Posted on: Sat Jun 19, 2004 8:55 pm
Icarus_Melt76 wrote:
Are we a unique species among the general population?


I wouldn't go as far as to say that we are a "unique species" as such. Obviously I can't speak for everyone here but I think that there is a group of the population who are far more inclined to take such an interest.

It's not good enough to simply say that most other people aren't interested, it's probably that many people in society today feel as though they've got something better to do. People like this will get interested in this issue but they probably wouldn't go out of their way to do it (but that doesn't mean that they wouldn't think on going for a trip into space!). Some poeple I have talked to seem genuinely interested in the Ansari X-prize but I doubt they will think anything of it until they see the rockets launching.

There are other people out there who couldn't care less of course and simply have no interest in space. You've got to remember that space has long been the preserve of a few so some may feel why should they get excited?

There are always going to be a group of people who will get excited over a certain issue and it's like that for almost everything. We've simply got to accept that on this issue we are those people and everyone else doesn't necessarily feel the same excitement over the X-prize.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Jun 19, 2004 9:08 pm
Sadly, I think most people are watching Big Brother series 5 (6.7 million in UK on one day last week) to see if the morons in the house are going to have sex. Never under-estimate the sheer stupidity and banalaty of the general public. (Recent electoral turnout struggled to reach 40%) :roll:

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Post    Posted on: Sat Jun 19, 2004 9:21 pm
Quite simply I want to get as far into space in my lifetime as possible, and how long that's going to be is really completely riding on this single competition and its competitors. History has taught us that progress isn't constant; most practical developments in this world come down to governments and business.

So without competitions such as the X Prize there is no reason at all these types of achivements couldn't sit unaccomplished for another decade or so. Very little is going to change in the economies of space travel until a private sector exists who's goals are to forward the field, and such a sector is not just going to pop into existence.

As I see it, everything comes down to what happens here and now, with this prize and these launches. If it takes off, we may have affordable LOE flights within 10 years, space hotels or even the moon in 20. If it fails, we may have to sit in our nursing homes watching government astronauts on Mars just wishing we could have been out there experiencing it for ourselves.


Last edited by Furious Broccoli on Sat Jun 19, 2004 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post    Posted on: Sat Jun 19, 2004 9:22 pm
luke.r wrote:
Sadly, I think most people are watching Big Brother series 5 (6.7 million in UK on one day last week) to see if the morons in the house are going to have sex. Never under-estimate the sheer stupidity and banalaty of the general public. (Recent electoral turnout struggled to reach 40%) :roll:


And some people have said I've been harsh!

I do get your point though, I just didn't want to alienate anyone by saying it though. :D

As I said many people feel thay have better things to do than take any real interest in what's going on at the moment, i'm sure most people on this site would say that they don't!

Ps: As for the voting thing, I'd rather people that really didn't feel they had an opinion do not vote. At least then the people elected are done so more by logical thought than just a bunch of people taking a random pick!

Edit: I am sure that while inconspicuous, the coming months and years will be a watershed event in history, either in a good way or a bad way.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Jun 19, 2004 10:58 pm
Where this prize takes us is vital. Each generation is judged on its actions and ours does not seem to harbour a great deal of ambition. I truly hope that June 21 will make people stop and think even just for a moment about where we should be looking, rather than wallowing in the minutae of everyday life. If early man had had T.V. instead of looking to what he can achieve, we might still be huddled in caves fearing the night. As far as the voting is concerned, if you don't like any of the parties, spoil your paper so it is counted as a protest. Also, I can't imagine what can go bad even if, God forbid, SS1 has an accident. Every new enterprise needs its heroes, look at Captain Scott!

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Post    Posted on: Sat Jun 19, 2004 11:38 pm
Sorry.. but "Where this prize takes us is vital. Each generation is judged on its actions".. I just had to mention this...

It's a GREAT sentence :o thanks luke.r

And yeps I agree with you :) it's good technology didn't came without working and learning :)

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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 20, 2004 1:01 am
luke.r wrote:
As far as the voting is concerned, if you don't like any of the parties, spoil your paper so it is counted as a protest.


Unfortunately we don't live in Australia (where that is done as far as i'm aware, i.e allowed for in the voting process) and do you really think our politicians would be that sensible to allow for it here anyway! :D Also the other problem with that is that it may not always be clear what specifically your protesting against. N E WAY, back to the X-prize.........

luke.r wrote:
Also, I can't imagine what can go bad even if, God forbid, SS1 has an accident. Every new enterprise needs its heroes, look at Captain Scott!


I was really talking about the general trend that we will see in spaceflight. Of course we are all hoping for and this launch probably will be successful and will be a good start to the process. What I'm saying is that what happens from then on is by no means certain and if the worst did happen, while yes the industry will continue as all pioneering industries have done before, all sorts of things could stunt it's growth.

While the pioneers may carry on their customer base may not be so willing and while i'm sure that no matter what happens there will be an industry in years to come, the "bad" of a stunted market is not a too distant possiblity.

Safety will be paramount to the industry to ensure that the market isn't brought down to just a few affluent risk-takers (basically what it is now, Denis Tito etc). I know that safety has been carefully looked at since the beggining of spaceflight but every company's emphasis on it must be retained to ensure wider public confidence.

Poeple know flying is to a certain extent dangerous and there have been a number of notable crashes, however it has been partly due to the aviation industry's adherance to strict safety codes that has meant that millions still fly every year. I'm sure that as long as high safety standards are kept and that no-matter what, the company's cannot be faulted on there attempts at safety then we will see much more of the "good" for the industry in the future.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 20, 2004 2:27 pm
i think that as a general rule the people of this board are a good deal more intelligent than average, and that group tends to have more interest in science/revolutionary stuff because we can comprehend it, even if it's only a small part, and also we're either young (under 30, this is sigurd and i) or have been related to something involving aerospace or space itself for most of our lives (author is a good example).

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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:46 am
Yes, I've been yearning for space since, as a boy, I discovered Robert Heinlein's science fiction in the 1950s. 8)

I've been blessed with success both in writing science fiction and in technical endeavors, including time working for NASA during the Apollo moon program.

To say today means a lot to me is a great understatement.

To say today means a lot to ALL of us on this board is an even greater understatement.

YOU GO, SpaceShipOne, YOU GO! May you easily achieve the desired altitude and land safely. May you truly usher in this new era of privatized space travel. The future is no longer next year, it is TODAY.

--Ralph

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Post    Posted on: Tue Jun 22, 2004 11:41 pm
I had a warped childhood.

When I was like five, I was launching those little solid estes rockets with my Dad. Now my Dad is a video editor, and he filmed my brother and I launching this metre long golden rocket. Then he took the footage and edited together with the "Space Camp" (1986) movie to produce a five minute sequence. This I think blurred my grip on reality and I never really developed any "social place" (the Americans do space) concepts or mental restrictions.

Plus I love building stuff and then blowing it up, so its a natural fit right?

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 23, 2004 12:05 am
I'm have no connection to the prize, short of wanting to buy a ticket someday. I had a copy of Gerard O'Neil's "High Frontier" on my bookshelf from about age 10, and it was like the bible to me. As a kid growing up in the eighties, two things really made an impression on me as far as science and engineering was concerned. One was getting to see Columbia on the pad before her first launch, second was watching Voyager land after flying around the world (distant third was having the 82 World's Fair almost in my backyard)

This really is the beginning of what a lot of us have been waiting for. For those that would rather stay home and watch Big Brother. Let 'em. It's a big world, and there's room enough for different wishes.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 23, 2004 8:33 am
Did anybody read the old Arthur C Clark short story "City and the Stars"? It describes Earth as being inhabited by those who were not interested in exploration as all the pioneers had left. (Much like Britain now has no interest in space flight since the empire took all of our explorers, adventurers and innovators.) Eventually they become so stagnated that they can't break out of their routines and are actually afraid of open spaces because they forgot everything that was known before. A warning of ignorance perhaps?

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 23, 2004 11:45 am
I've read it, Luke.... Sir Arthur Clarke writes great science fiction but, in this story, he has a somewhat darker view of at least part of humanity's future than we hope will be the true one. To paraphrase the late President Ronald Reagan's stirring "Morning in America" theme, I believe Scaled and the other X Teams are ushering in Morning on Earth or even Morning in the Galaxy as humanity expands off this one little fragile ball of dirt (for which Earth itself is named).

I felt this experienced this excitement once before--back during the time when I worked with NASA during the Apollo program and Neil Armstrong make that "one small step..." But the last 30 years have been frustrating as NASA retreated from the moon to essentially just running a "truck" around low earth orbit. NASA lost the vision, the people in the Ansari X Prize have found it again!

Time for the stars--it is our future and our birthright. Let none hold us back.

--Ralph

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 23, 2004 5:40 pm
Why am I interested in the X prize? Because I want to live on Mars.


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