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Democrats for Space

Posted by: FerrisValyn - Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:04 pm
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Democrats for Space 
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Post Democrats for Space   Posted on: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:04 pm
This is intended somewhat more for people in the usa. Anyone who has actual suggestions is of course welcome, although people with leanings towards what America calls the left, or liberal, or progressive, will most likely be the most help. Those with leanings towards the American right, again, I welcome actual suggestions, but I do not wanna turn this into any sort of general political discussion, so I request that everyone who responds, please turn off your sarcasm, and keep it relevent - I intend to do the same

Now, I have no intention of turning this into a political debate, and I know generally its seen as Republicains who are space backers (although I'd dispute that by quite a bit, but as I said, I am not gonna start a political ) but I wanna help make this a Democratic/Left issue. Which is not to say I wanna take it away from the right - but, if we get both the Right and Left on board, well, we'll be much closer. So, as part of that, I've started a paper that argues for Space Development and Colonization, for the American Left, as well as starting a diary/blog at dailykos that mainly focuses on Space development/colonization. I'd like to post the paper, but don't have webspace avaliable right now, but I am using the paper as the basis for the diary/blog. Now, Dailykos is highly partisain, and I make no apologies about my politics, but if you think you might be offended, seriously - don't visit. While I've tried to keep my diary entries and the paper fairly non-partisen, if you look at any of the comments, or any other part of the site, I am telling you right now - its very partisan. Again, I do not want to turn this into a political debate, and ruin a good board (I've seen it happen). But I would like some help in developing my arguements (this was the reason for asking for launch data figures), so, if you would be willing to read the diaries, I would love some help in writing them. Or, if people would prefer, I am willing to repost the diary entries here. As for the full paper, I am trying to find some web space. If someone would has web space they can provide, feel free and I'll email it. Or if you would like to read it before I get web space, again feel free to let me know, and I'll email it.

Again, I do not want this to become a political debate thread - wrong place, wrong crowd. But I think the Left could be galvanized into supporting Space, and thats what I am trying to do. So, anyone willing to read the entries or the paper?


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:56 pm
Oh, gosh, I missed this post until just today. I'm not American, although I used to have quite left-wing political views (not so much anymore) - in any case, I've followed enough US political discussion to have some idea of the mindset you want to reach.

I'll try to make some constructive suggestions, but I'm just a British university student without much of a clue, so this advice should probably be summarily ignored. :)

We could have a big argument on this forum about what, exactly, the best space policy would be. Speaking for myself, I think that access to space is absolutely the first and last problem that needs to be addressed, and missions to the Moon or Mars can wait. Others here might say that the access problem won't be solved anytime soon, or that it will take the impetus of colonisation to get it solved (the Zubrin philosophy if you will), and that NASA should push ahead with the President's Vision - and I'm sure they have a point.

I think that for the Democrats, it would be helpful to have a policy that was clearly distinct from the current Vision which, for better or worse, is associated with Bush - so I'm going to push my own views with a space access emphasis. Those who prefer near-term, ELV-based Moon and Mars missions will doubtless disagree - with good reasons - but I, personally, do not believe that a mission to the Moon mounted with giant expendable HLLVs purely for exploration and inspiration is worth the money that it would cost. I also think that saying so will resonate with a lot of Democrats.

One thing the Democrats could do, which I think that a majority of space enthusiasts might support, would be to say 'NASA human spaceflight as it stands is an unnecessary jobs programme, congressional pork, and if elected we will do our best to get rid of it'. Now, as space fans of course we don't want that money diverted to other non-space goals... and I'm sure we all have different ideas of what would be best to do with it. Although I actually rather like the idea of prizes (but what do I know? :)), they're probably too radical a way for the government to do business for a mainstream candidate to support them. What I would say is that, on space, a good policy is to pay for results and not for process... lots of people have been saying this for a long time.

I don't think any of that is going to win votes, though, its too boring. One exciting thing that the Democrats might make their own is space tourism. It still has some 'giggle factor' attached, but I think its a good bet that space tourism will be big business and open space up for worthier things - eventually. What tourism really needs is robust access to space, which IMO means an RLV. Now I'm sure everyone agrees that we don't want 'Shuttle II', but I think that the government could bring forward orbital tourism by a decade or more if NASA's human spaceflight budget were competently spent in pursuit of robust space access. That perhaps means the radical idea of funding multiple approaches simultaneously including new ones - beamed energy looks promising to me, I'm not an expert but nobody has yet shown me why it couldn't work. The electro-dynamic tether, catching a suborbital RLV at the top of its ballistic arc and tossing it into orbit, seems like a great idea to me. I'm still yet to be convinced that a rocket-powered SSTO RLV is beyond the state of the art. In any case, $8 billion a year is enough to have a good stab at all of them, perhaps multiple stabs at some.

Behind all of that, it'd really be refreshing to see any kind of space policy out there which showed appreciation at high levels of the real problems keeping us back from space. The biggest problems are lack of proven demand for launch services and the high capital investment required to develop robust space access - they form the familiar chicken-and-egg problem that has haunted the space movement for decades. There's plenty of demand, but most of it is speculative - if the needed investment were smaller then capitalism would have given us space access long ago, likewise if the demand were more concrete. Personally I'm convinced that there is demand there at $100/pound to justify the high flight rates any system will need to have in order to realise that level of cost. If the Democrats can find the vision - and technical wherewithall - to see things that way, then we'll be cooking with plutonium.

A little more than just my twopennyworth. :)


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:38 pm
AmericaSpace.org has many Democrats.

The sad thing is that today's Dems have abandoned JFKs Apollo vision.

David Obey wanted to rob NASA and use that money for more cops--like we don't have enough of the little pests on our highways with speed traps. Proxmire was a Democrat, and the only good thing he ever did was to do us the very great favor of assuming room temperature late last year. Kerry was going to axe NASA.

Ironically, the GOP has adopted space. Because of this, the DNC naturally has to be against it.

The democrats are missing a prime opportunity. Big gov't russian rockets were every bit the success that collective farming was a failure. Space is a way to show that the 'privatize everything' crowd doesn't have all the answers.

If I were a Democrat, I would contrast New Horizons with Rutans pathetic little toy and talk also about how 'smaller gov't' failed New orleans.

Sadly, the public works infrastructure New Orleans needed ran afoul of environmentalists.

You see, we only have two real parties in America.

one party wants to turn us back to the dark age.

The other wants to turn us back all the way to the stone age.

No one represents the space age.

The DNC needs to re-take the high ground--put progress back in the word progressive--and kick the snail-darter worshippers and the freaks to the curb.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 26, 2006 8:20 am
Centrillium,
I tend to think that if we make the argument about colonization, and development (somewhat), then we make a demand for Cheap orbital. Of course, I would also argue that we've already begun Colonization, but thats just me.

The problem tends to be though that most politicians, at least those who have ambitions of higher office, are for space, but they are for space like they are for mom and apple pie - they have no idea what to do with it.

That is part of the reason I am happy that Richardson has/is trying to do. It does need to be distinct from Bush - espicially given the feelings most dems have for Bush. Again, thats why I say make this about Colonization, not science and Exploration.


publiusr - The problem is that you need some amount of privatization. And your idea of comparing New Horizons to Rutan is like comparing Apples and Oranges, and it hurts Space Colonization prospects, since New Horizons was unmanned. Just go look at all the op-eds again asking why we are sending humans when robots do just fine. And thats why we have to make this about colonization, not exploration. Because, theroetically speaking, there isn't any reason why a robot couldn't do just as good a job as a human - I know that practically speaking, this is different, but theoreticaly speaking, the only reason we send people into space is to prepare/begin colonization.

I don't want everything privatize, any more than I want the government running everything. What you need is a robust middle ground. Which is why you do need the Rutans and co. Just as you need Nasa.

As far as New Orleans running afoul of enviromentalists, it wasn't enviromentalists, it was corrupt politicians (espicially this administration)


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 26, 2006 2:16 pm
publiusr - well, I have to admit, you were one of the people I was thinking about as a supporter of near-term Moon missions and expendable HLLVs. :) I think you're correct to argue real exploration and colonisation will require an HLLV, and that a reusable HLLV is an unrealistic prospect at the moment. So its a question of priorities.

The reason why I'm not that supportive of an HLLV or Moon missions today is that I just don't believe that any colonisation or space development plan built on throwaway rockets can be realistic. I'm still young, and I think there is scope for a real spacefaring civilisation to emerge soon enough for me to be involved in building it... but not if we continue to devote what resources we have to the approach that allowed Apollo to succeed in less than a decade - and guaranteed that we would not return to the Moon in half a century. Certainly, we can explore the Moon and Mars in the coming decades with Apollo-style missions, but can we orbit the large numbers of people and equipment needed to build a civilisation? Certainly not. Even in Case for Mars, Zubrin needed to assume SSTO RLVs before he could project a ticket cost to Mars that someone like me could possibly hope to afford. That's why I feel that space access should be the priority.

FerrisValyn wrote:
I tend to think that if we make the argument about colonization, and development (somewhat), then we make a demand for Cheap orbital.


I'm still not sure exactly how best to frame the argument, but I'm not sure that pushing colonisation straight up is the way to do it (though, as you can tell I'm just as keen on the idea as you are :)). I worry that colonisation is too visionary a concept to use in public debate, which - and this continually saddens and disappoints me - is built on soundbites and slick publicity, rather than sophisticated analysis. When you're writing a book you can go through all the technical background and show the reader how it can be done... but in a political argument, 'colonisation' sounds like science fiction.

Its depressing that, in general, those who support visionary plans for space usually have a far better idea of how difficult it will be to realise them than those who loudly dismiss the plans as fantasy. :(

I think that there might be more traction in exploiting the broad public awareness that current space transportation is dangerous and expensive, by simply making the case for a serious project or projects (jumping on one idea to exclusion of others being bad idea IMO) to change that situation. The Democrats could show they have vision on the issue, and attack the Bush space plan without attacking space in general.

FerrisValyn wrote:
I don't want everything privatize, any more than I want the government running everything. What you need is a robust middle ground. Which is why you do need the Rutans and co. Just as you need Nasa.


Well, I think there's a good chance that the private sector will change the picture by itself eventually unless the government actively gets in the way... but it will take a long time. To be specific, sub-orbital tourism probably will become quite profitable, and some of the companies providing that service will be successful enough to proceed towards an orbital RLV. However, I can't see revenues funding an RLV development effort for a long time unless investment floods in, or some very rich people underwrite the project - one thing that's clear is that orbital vehicles are hard and a reusable orbital vehicle certainly cannot be done without billions of dollars.

NASA has those billions, but to be brutally honest, I don't think the Agency as it exists today is capable of the job. I think many space enthusiasts pine for the straightforward competence and dynamism of the late SDIO's SSRT effort - I know I do, frankly, I think the SDIO was the best chance we had to quickly change the paradigm, but unfortunately (if I can say such a thing) the Cold War ended perhaps just a decade too soon. (I know you're not keen on space weapons, but I guarantee you they'll exist if we get our spacefaring civilisation, human nature being what it is.)


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 26, 2006 3:24 pm
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I'm still not sure exactly how best to frame the argument, but I'm not sure that pushing colonisation straight up is the way to do it (though, as you can tell I'm just as keen on the idea as you are ). I worry that colonisation is too visionary a concept to use in public debate, which - and this continually saddens and disappoints me - is built on soundbites and slick publicity, rather than sophisticated analysis. When you're writing a book you can go through all the technical background and show the reader how it can be done... but in a political argument, 'colonisation' sounds like science fiction.


Which is why we have to reshape the debate - so often I hear people say "but what does the Space station actually do? It doesn't do any science, it doesn't get us to mars"

And that where we reshape the debate - Space colonization is something that will happen in 20 or 30 years - its already started. ISS is the very first step. We make that the point, that colonization isn't some pie in the sky that will happen in 20 or 50 years - its already started. Nasa may not like this particular fact about ISS, but it is the case

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Its depressing that, in general, those who support visionary plans for space usually have a far better idea of how difficult it will be to realise them than those who loudly dismiss the plans as fantasy.

I think that there might be more traction in exploiting the broad public awareness that current space transportation is dangerous and expensive, by simply making the case for a serious project or projects (jumping on one idea to exclusion of others being bad idea IMO) to change that situation. The Democrats could show they have vision on the issue, and attack the Bush space plan without attacking space in general.



And there is the 2nd part of the colonization issue - we are opening it up to everyone. You don't have to have Olsen's money to go into space, or "The Right Stuff"



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Well, I think there's a good chance that the private sector will change the picture by itself eventually unless the government actively gets in the way... but it will take a long time. To be specific, sub-orbital tourism probably will become quite profitable, and some of the companies providing that service will be successful enough to proceed towards an orbital RLV. However, I can't see revenues funding an RLV development effort for a long time unless investment floods in, or some very rich people underwrite the project - one thing that's clear is that orbital vehicles are hard and a reusable orbital vehicle certainly cannot be done without billions of dollars.

It won't happen with traditional sources of capital, even in the private sector. I know Rutan likes to rip Nasa (at least, he has in the past) about how they operate, but the problem isn't Nasa - its LockMart and Boeing. Now, I do believe that people like Rutan, and Branson, and Bezos, and Musk have a shot at making it, but its by no means assured. And the flip side of it is, when we go into space, we will need governmental regulation, if for no other reason then to be able to clear up property disputes.

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NASA has those billions, but to be brutally honest, I don't think the Agency as it exists today is capable of the job. I think many space enthusiasts pine for the straightforward competence and dynamism of the late SDIO's SSRT effort - I know I do, frankly, I think the SDIO was the best chance we had to quickly change the paradigm, but unfortunately (if I can say such a thing) the Cold War ended perhaps just a decade too soon. (I know you're not keen on space weapons, but I guarantee you they'll exist if we get our spacefaring civilisation, human nature being what it is.)


As far as Nasa being to big, again, I don't think its Nasa - frankly, if we could put either Boeing or Lockmart out of business, I think you'd see the revolution happen. As far as dealing with SDI, and all it entials, and space weaponization, I think it is likely to happen, but not necassarily. However, the larger point is that you want to seperate Space from the Department of Defense - you want one sure way of killing space for dems, make it only and all about going to war, and as another program for the DOD. I guarentee you that most dems at ground level will turn against space so quickly, it'd make your head spin.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 26, 2006 5:22 pm
FerrisValyn wrote:
Space colonization is something that will happen in 20 or 30 years - its already started. ISS is the very first step.


Hmm. I've heard a similar comment about the space station before - that, regardless of its drawbacks, at least we will now have people (albeit just two or three) in space all the time. Just on the technical, pedantic side though, you can't call the space station an instance of colonisation, because there are no permanent residents. :) In an emotional sense, to me at least, its obvious that the space station is very far from colonisation, but you may feel differently which is fair enough.

I do feel that going to the public with the space station as an example of colonisation is unlikely to make you much headway, to be honest.

FerrisValyn wrote:
It won't happen with traditional sources of capital, even in the private sector.


I expect that you're right, here. It might happen if, for instance, Paul Allen or Richard Branson or someone at that level of personal wealth were to commit a significant portion of their own worth to the project in the form of a blank cheque. I don't think its likely, they have vision but not that much vision. :)

FerrisValyn wrote:
we will need governmental regulation, if for no other reason then to be able to clear up property disputes.


Certainly true.

FerrisValyn wrote:
As far as Nasa being to big, again, I don't think its Nasa - frankly, if we could put either Boeing or Lockmart out of business, I think you'd see the revolution happen.


I can't say for sure, not being familiar with the inner workings of any of these institutions, but I think that NASA has its share of failings. Not that I'd feel qualified to name them or suggest remedies. :)

FerrisValyn wrote:
As for SDI ... I guarentee you that most dems at ground level will turn against space so quickly, it'd make your head spin.


I can well believe that. :) I'm not an enthusiast, myself. I like the way SDIO did things, not what they were doing, necessarily. I also think that in reality, at the moment, space weaponisation is much more a liberal talking point than a real prospect - it just isn't that useful, militarily. My earlier comment was a reflection of the fact that, when you have US citizens and Chinese citizens living on the Moon in large numbers, you bet there will be a US and Chinese military presence there. That's inescapable. It doesn't need to be mentioned to Democrats right now though. :)


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:04 pm
Big expendables are the way to go. First SDLV HLLV, then Sea Dragon and colonies will come. My comparisons with New Horizons with Rutan was based on professionalism--not the manned vs. unmanned arguement.

If Lewis and Clarke were replaced by Spirit and Opp--the Louisiana purchase would have been the size of Central Park--with the rovers thinking the first creek was the Pacific.

Military space folks hate manned spaceflight, saying a robot can do the job--then when more money is asked for better satellites, they say that 'nothing can replace a man on the ground."

My point exactly.

In my opinion privatization is for chumps. Let's forget that this is spaceflight for just a moment. Let's say that some of the NewSpace frauds were instead talking about a new way to drill for oil:

"These big corporate welfare drilling rigs are overlarge. We start ups from alt.space think we have a better way. We are proud to introduce--the Roton!"

And they unveil a post-hole digger.

That's about where we are in private spaceflight--with Musk's being a nice gas powered auger like what I used to drill out some stumps.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 26, 2006 11:11 pm
publiusr wrote:
Big expendables are the way to go. First SDLV HLLV, then Sea Dragon and colonies will come.


Perhaps, but not without a national imperative and a willingness to spend very much more than 0.7% of the federal budget. I want to take issue with your take on 'JFK's Apollo Vision'... whether or not Kennedy himself was a visionary, Apollo happened because of the Cold War. It was an artifact of a bizarre and unprecedented alignment of circumstances. The kind of programme that Apollo was can never be business as usual for the United States - that just isn't realistic. Especially not today, when budgets are tight and the world is almost certainly headed for a crisis at some point in the next half century (you may not believe that, but we shall see how things go).

Big expendables have only one 'market' - colonisation. To bring costs down via the Sea Dragon approach you have to roll those things off of a production line, and launch thousands and thousands of tonnes into orbit every year. The cost per payload pound will certainly drop, but you're looking at an ongoing national enterprise with a cost at least equivalent to Apollo, with no clear end! To suppose that any government is actually going to go for such a thing is just... a denial of reality, I'm sorry, I don't like to be so blunt but there it is. It isn't going to happen.

RLVs at least have some prospect of paying for themselves quickly, because they can service the tourist market. Big ELVs cannot be incrementally tested like an aircraft, they in fact cannot be tested at all without expending an entire vehicle. For this reason I do not believe that ELVs will ever be safe enough to service any but the most adventurous of tourists. You might scoff at tourism - certainly, the market is unproven - but you and I both know we want to go into space, right? In any event, I'm certain that we will not be able to seriously consider building a civilisation in space until launches are as routine as aeroplane take-offs, and I just can't see ELVs delivering that.

I realise this post was rather more impassioned than I usually get, and I mean no disrespect publiusr, because I'm sure you're quite right about the technical feasibility of colonisation with big ELVs. We may just have to agree to disagree about the political and economic feasibility. :)


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 26, 2006 11:50 pm
Centrillium --

Quote:
Hmm. I've heard a similar comment about the space station before - that, regardless of its drawbacks, at least we will now have people (albeit just two or three) in space all the time. Just on the technical, pedantic side though, you can't call the space station an instance of colonisation, because there are no permanent residents. In an emotional sense, to me at least, its obvious that the space station is very far from colonisation, but you may feel differently which is fair enough.

I do feel that going to the public with the space station as an example of colonisation is unlikely to make you much headway, to be honest.


That mighta been true before Tito, ShuttleWorth, and Olsen. But, since the flight of those 3, because it wasn't about having the Right stuff, at least, in the traditional Space sense - the only real Right stuff needed was 20 million dollars. Point 2, the only reason we we don't have some sort of permaniat residents is because we aren't trying to use it that way -it wouldn't require any modifications even.

As far as making headway, I disagree - people will view it with the giggle factor until well after its begun. Therefore, lets just begin it right now. I know that sounds kinda crazy, but the simple fact is, I am convince you can sell anything, with right spin.

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I can't say for sure, not being familiar with the inner workings of any of these institutions, but I think that NASA has its share of failings. Not that I'd feel qualified to name them or suggest remedies.


I won't claim Nasa hasn't made some mistakes, but the bigger issue of stupidity, is, Congress/Whitehouse and the LockMarts and Boeing. Frankly, one of the biggest problems of trying to sell Space to dems right now is that many of them see Space as Pork for Tom Delay - and you can imagine how well that goes over with them. If Nasa could somehow get away from the who pork/earmark thing, this would be solvable, but then, if I had my own Millenium Falcon, i could just fly away.

publiusr --

Quote:
Big expendables are the way to go. First SDLV HLLV, then Sea Dragon and colonies will come. My comparisons with New Horizons with Rutan was based on professionalism--not the manned vs. unmanned arguement.


Ok, to the first point - Sea Dragon was reusable. 2nd point - if you think that we can do it with expendables, I won't say we can't, because after readingOtrag, I have to admit there is a pretty convincing idea there, but it will require some uniqie thinking like Otrag, and since I am an enviromentalist, Im not thrilled about throwing away so much stuff. Also, I am curious publiusr - have you been following what Musk has said about Merlin 2? As for the SDLV HLLV - my sugestion would be we would be better off pulling the plug on the CEV and company and spending it on building a space elevator - seriously. What we need is assured cheap access, thats avaliable for anyone. Maybe the elevator won't be the way to go. But the CEV and its kin aren't offering us anything close to cheap access. Because we can't wait 10-30 years for colonization - we need colonization starting right NOW.

Quote:

In my opinion privatization is for chumps. Let's forget that this is spaceflight for just a moment. Let's say that some of the NewSpace frauds were instead talking about a new way to drill for oil:

"These big corporate welfare drilling rigs are overlarge. We start ups from alt.space think we have a better way. We are proud to introduce--the Roton!"

And they unveil a post-hole digger


Look, publiusr - I know you hate the whole alt-space community. Forget them for the moment. Lets assume for the moment, that all of a sudden, tomorrow, Lockmart decides that they will finish the development on the VentureStar - after all, from the sounds of this article they were damn close solving all the problems. It was only that stupid move on the fuel tank that hurt the vehicle, and that can easily be dealt with. Or, even if they can't make the numbers work entirely for a SSTO - modify it to a Two stage system. Or Boeing buy the Otrag concept, which has flown and is proven, and simply mass produce the sucker. Or, lets say Nasa figures out how to mass produce the ribbion for an Elevator. All these things are gonna require private industry, in some fashion. Nasa can't lead us to Star Trek, because a) Star Trek, as a society, isn't feasable. The Soviet Union proved communism doesn't work (and believe me, its quite easy to argue its a form of communism). We will need private industry to go with us into space. The best we can hope for is Babylon 5, or some form of Star Wars. Nasa can't plan the colonization of space, any more than the US could plan the settlement of the West. The best either could hope for is a good foundation, and then letting everybody have at it.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:09 am
Oops, forgot to add
Centrillium -
1 - 5 years ago, people thought space tourism was insane at this point
2 - much more importantly, it wasn't that long ago when the notion of running out of oil seemed crazy.

I know we are gonna be regaurded as insane for arguing this, but, we present the broader arguement of Colonization, and development, people will get on much quicker. So, as I said, its crazy, but it can work.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:14 pm
Actually the US (General Sherman) did a pretty good job of riding shotgun on the rails. The DAS-80 did more for exploration than Lindbergh.
Rocket launches are never going to come often, so as long as flights are rare, the LVs need to be as large as possible. Sea Dragon need not fly too often, about once ore thrice a year--but that is 1,500 tons. It, like EELV would be state sponsored. Big Gov't rocketry was every bit the success that collective farming was a failure.

The Alt.space movement does DAMAGE to spaceflight. People often don't care about space. NASA has money from ignorant folks--who have to pay taxes. If there were no NASA, there would be no spaceflight in the US. People who need comsats would laugh at Rutan--and continue to buy Soviet launch vehicles--because that model works. Period. Spaceflight is simply too important to be left to market forces--that have only helped one space program--China's.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:09 pm
publiusr wrote:
Rocket launches are never going to come often
Then we are doomed to remain on Earth, because nothing, not cars, not airplanes and not rockets, is reliable until it has been tried hundreds, or maybe thousands of times. Would you ride on a new airliner design that has only flown 10 times, including test flights? Even if all those flights were successful? I wouldn't. The shuttle may now just be starting to have all the bugs worked out, after over 100 flights. Another few hundred flights and it could be safe. Expensive, but safe.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:39 pm
publiusr wrote:
Actually the US (General Sherman) did a pretty good job of riding shotgun on the rails. The DAS-80 did more for exploration than Lindbergh.
Rocket launches are never going to come often, so as long as flights are rare, the LVs need to be as large as possible. Sea Dragon need not fly too often, about once ore thrice a year--but that is 1,500 tons. It, like EELV would be state sponsored. Big Gov't rocketry was every bit the success that collective farming was a failure.


Well, if thats true, then frankly, we should give up manned spaceflight. Because, unless we are serious about colonization, and I mean really serious, not this half hearted crap that Nasa has been doing, and what I fear the CEV is turning into, I don't want it. I want colonization, and I want it in 10 years, or screw the whole human race. (Out of decency, I'll give it 20)

publiusr wrote:
The Alt.space movement does DAMAGE to spaceflight. People often don't care about space. NASA has money from ignorant folks--who have to pay taxes. If there were no NASA, there would be no spaceflight in the US. People who need comsats would laugh at Rutan--and continue to buy Soviet launch vehicles--because that model works. Period. Spaceflight is simply too important to be left to market forces--that have only helped one space program--China's.


Its also too important to be left to the government. This is something that has to embrace all aspects of society. And I'll say it again - this is not about spaceflight - this is about space colonization. And if anyone honestly believe that human spaceflight isn't about colonization, then, frankly, that person is deluding themselves.

Mind you, its not that I dislike Nasa or any such thing. What I hate is what politicians have done to it - it has been forced to develop the perpetuation of its own existance using earmarks (or just about) Nasa should've been allowed to develop a shuttle, a real shuttle, back in the 70s, or when they realize that the shuttle wasn't as good as was stated to be, go back to the drawing board, instead of waiting for the 2nd disater. Nasa has a number of great people in it. The problem is that Nasa has to justify itself, and until people start seeing that colonization is a legitmate justification, and all that entails, then its always gonna be dependant on a Congress and an Administration, whose corruption is pissing off half the population so much that they're ready to can the whole program because Tom Delay has used it as a big piece of pork, and on an idustry that has never really tried to cut costs.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 03, 2006 8:43 pm
Because, unless we are serious about colonization, and I mean really serious, not this half hearted crap that Nasa has been doing.

NASA is not a monoblock. Griffin has been in NASA nine months, and you have written him off already. It's not crap and its not half hearted. It is a good plan and will work if people quit with all the whining.

I want colonization, and I want it in 10 years, or screw the whole human race. (Out of decency, I'll give it 20)

Then SUPPORT Griffin and not the alt.space frauds--because I guarentee you they will NEVER colonize space.


Its also too important to be left to the government.

It's too important to be left to anyone else.

This is something that has to embrace all aspects of society. And I'll say it again - this is not about spaceflight - this is about space colonization. And if anyone honestly believe that human spaceflight isn't about colonization, then, frankly, that person is deluding themselves.
Tom Delay has used it as a big piece of pork, and on an industry that has never really tried to cut costs.


That's part of the game--and you have to play it right. Look, HLLV has two things going for it. It has the mass to really support space colonization. It will launch true spaceSHIPs. Secondly, once HLLV is flying, it will have the institutional inertia STS enjoys--no one will ever try to get rid of that Saturn class lift capability--and the RLV market will be what is left to private industry. Let them have frequent acess to space, and NASA have BIG acess to space. There is room for everyone.


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