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Australasian Bigelow Prize Entrant

Posted by: Pete - Wed Sep 29, 2004 4:38 am
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Australasian Bigelow Prize Entrant 
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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:12 am
True, but who knows what that random research can turn up?

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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:37 am
Australia's federal budget surplus for 2006-2007 is forecast to be AUD $10.8 billion, (about US $8.2 billion). And they have consistently under estimated it in recent years. Goverment debt is effectively zero too. And we already have a launch site at Womera.

I shall write to my member of parliament directly. (As soon as I figure out who he or she is, that is).


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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:24 am
Just a thought, folks: Rules 7, 8, and 9, from http://bigelowaerospace.com/multiverse/space_prize.php:

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• The contestant must be domiciled in the United States of America;
• The Contestant must have its principal place of business in the United States of America;
• The Competitor must not accept or utilize Government development funding related to this Contest of any kind, nor shall there be any Government ownership of the Competitor. Using Government test and launch facilities shall be permitted;

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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:29 am
So we sell to Rockets'R'Us who sells them to Bigelow :)

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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:28 pm
Sounds like a plan. :D

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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:46 am
SpaceCowboy wrote:
Just a thought, folks: Rules 7, 8, and 9, from http://bigelowaerospace.com/multiverse/space_prize.php:


Yeah, I realised that not long after starting this thread.

Idiom wrote:
No, Tax money thats is unspent. Economy went up more than expected so tax take is bigger than planned.

Mind you this was last time I checked. Economy took a hit on the Oil constriction.


The surplus for the year ended 31 March was NZ$8.8 billion and the cash surplus (after all planned spending was taken out) was NZ$2.69 billion.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/search/story.cfm?storyid=00060EC9-992D-14AD-8D7483027AF100AD

Most of the money will be spent on health, policing and other government expenditure, particularly the NZ$10 billion superannuation fund (US$6.4 billion).

We have a labour government which loves spending money on social causes, and the alternative is a national government which would give it back to everyone in tax cuts.

No parties "think big", I think that's a little sad.

But with the surplus's Australia and New Zealand are both running, you would think they could do something interesting, even if only something small.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:53 am
If you could get $3.5 per year for ten years that your Mars plan right there :)

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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:31 am
Pete wrote:
But with the surplus's Australia and New Zealand are both running, you would think they could do something interesting, even if only something small.


Look at the surplus here in Norway... it's huge, but nothing is happening - instead we're sitting on USD 100s of billions in money and stocks instead of helping ESA with some money

Don't think we should count on any of the countries that aren't already spending big money on space programmes to come up with something new.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:02 pm
Pete wrote:
We have a labour government which loves spending money on social causes,...


No offense, but that's generally a waste of money.

Pete wrote:
...and the alternative is a national government which would give it back to everyone in tax cuts.


Now that's handy. If they actually plan on reducing the tax rate (instead of just saying they're going to reduce it and hiking it up anyway, like the U.S. Republican party), that will in turn make the economy stronger. Which means that eventually, on its own, tax revenue will increase. And the people themselves will have more money to spend on other things (like a civilian commercial space program).

Pete wrote:
No parties "think big", I think that's a little sad.


Just because you want something done doesn't mean that you have to steal everybody else's money to do it. A lassiez-faire approach works better (as always).

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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:44 pm
Heh. Thats cute. In some places its not economicly sane to provide telephones. Or even to feed and clothe everybody. A lack of regulation eventually leads to monopolies and eugenics, among other things. The invisible hand of the market is not an ethical hand because the market is not ethical, its cut-throat. Its more efficient, but the human population might be more efficient if we culled the weaker specimens.

An ability to supply ASP or COTS style flights will lead to much bigger rewards than just the outlined prizes. Thus the violation of the entry conditions is not such a big deal.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:13 pm
If the market is unethical, that means a significant majority of the population is unethical (because the market, as you understand it, simply represents what the majority is doing at any time). If the population is unethical, how can you expect to elect government representatives that are ethical? You just voided your own argument.

A true free market is surprisingly moral, because the population that controls it is surprisingly moral. Most people point to things like the American "robber barons" of the late 19th and early 20th centuries as examples of what happens when a free market is allowed to run loose. Economists and literate people know better, because those men would not have been able to establish their "baronies" had it not been for the government officials backing them and changing the laws in their favor.

If it's not practical to provide basic services in some areas, then there's probably a good chance that those people will be moving shortly anyway, if they weren't provided for by government welfare programs.

Monopolies are unnatural entities that can only exist with government support, and eugenics is strictly a facet of governmental control of the population -- corporations have absolutely no interest in it. Providing the tools to genetically alter a population, they might find profitable. Changing said population so it is "better", no. That's bad PR, and PR is about all that matters in a free-market economy.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:56 pm
Hello, spacecowboy,

you get it the correct way.

The point is that only humans can be ethical but no economical or political system. As is known very well from the twentieth century the non-markets are unethical as well - Stalin was an example and here in Germany Hitler's system wasn't a free market no way. The prices for example were fixed and frozen by the nationalsocialist regime.

The responsibility allways is that of the people, of the individuals - never that of the system(s).

But the non-free systems include a larger danger for the ethical and responsive behaving individuals than the free systems. The unethical or non-responsive individuals are favoured by the non-free systems. The free can remove the dictators while the non-free systems assist them once they are in their hands - Stalin is a well-known example.

Bigelow's doing might result in an additinal way to escape dictators and non-free systems one day in the future...



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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 31, 2006 1:16 pm
If we let other governments go about their business freely we end up with all sorts of neat atrocities. The 'free market' is often applied to politics and ethics, which I am suggesting might possibly be a mistake.

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If the population is unethical, how can you expect to elect government representatives that are ethical? You just voided your own argument.
Not my argument at all. But while we are here, if individuals are unethical and the economy rewards unethical behaviour then these types will rise to the top of the business world. The ethical majority will work for them believing themselves to be simply 'less talented'.

I am just pointing out that some markets are not ideal and not large enough to support some industries. The ideal market outcome is not always the one you want. Thats the prmary reason the U.S. doesn't outsource its military and space production to cheaper countries.

New Zealand tried privatising a lot off stuff and all the ventures failed or are failing misearably. For example the market seems to be against a national airline existing here without government subsidies. Without an airline with a stake in keeping air transport costs low, our other industries would be strangled in spite of their market viability.

There are a lot of other examples where the return to the economy is greater after an indiviual entity makes an uneconomic choice. A lot of remote farms turn in a great deal of profit, more than the losses to regulation that provide their infrastructure.

In a world of ideal maths, sure zero regulation is best, but not a lot of humans operate on pure maths.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 31, 2006 1:48 pm
Hello, idiom,

the problem is that the Economics of markets can't be applied to governments, politics and the like - governments, politicians etc. don't fit into the theory for markets. For this reason Economics have a particular family or group of theories to explain the behaviour of governments, politicians, bureaucrats and the like.

Military, courts, foreign affairs etc. have a particular property that means that they can't be traded on markets - and never (or nearly never at least) are: They are public commodities while on markets only private commodities can be traded. A public commodity is a commodity that - once produced or available - is available to all people of a country. Because of this no individual and no group would pay for theat commodity ever. The availability includes that positive impacts of the commodity are felt by all individuals.

These public commodities are one of the main reasons that governments and politicians are there - and they mean that each government has a monopoly once it is elected or established.

There are more systems than the economical and the political only - culture for example.

So unethical behaviour etc. never should be blamed on the economical or the political system. In consequence it's allways the responsibility of the individuals - of you, spacecowboy, me, Sigurd, alistair, author,... - all the billions of individuals on this world. The unethical seem to be a very little minority by number but simply manage(d) to get inot powerful political positions - by manipulation (via psychological methods) of voters, people, by telling lies, by re- and misinterpretations of words, by playing "Divide et impera" and the like.

A monopoly to some degree is political - unethical behaviour of monopolies to a certain degree is part of the political system instead of the economical system. But in between it has turned out that monopolies have a limited lifetime compared to non-monopolistic market structures - a result of theories that also has to do with potential competition and potential anti-monopolistic politics.

Everyone should be glad about each free market - no unethical government there plus protection by human rights and the constitution and the like. And there are authorities equiped with property rights and instruments to destroy, to supervise and to punch monopolies.



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Post    Posted on: Fri Sep 01, 2006 12:51 am
Pardon me but could someone please explain how this all relates to the ASP?

In the meantime, I spent the last 2 nights listening to Robert Bigalow on The Spaceshow and that was quite illuminating to say the least. I think someone else made the comment that there had been not one taker with anywhere near the funding required so I'd say the ASP is dead. Bigalow also mentioned that he didn't believe that NASA has any interest in promoting private industry UNTIL they issued COTS. This is the first right step they've taken to date and therefore maybe there is actually some hope albeit very small.

As an example, apparently some time ago, he and a small consortium presented 3 different scenerios to NASA for involvement in the ISS with the final one not costing NASA anything and they were knocked backed - no explanation forthcoming.

At the end of the day, Bigalow gives the strong impression that the private sector will be the only ones with sufficient capability of developing space for widespread human use. In his own plan, he is targeting many countries to start their own astronaut programs using his leased facilities for various business-related activities of which tourism is only minor. The major risk being lack of a reliable, cheap and frequent (he mentioned about 2 launchs per month and 6000 to 7000 astronauts over 60 to 70 possible countries world-wide) means of access to space and he's betting his project on someone else providing that. Mind you, he did not totally rule out eventually entering the launch business if it got to the stage where no one else had managed to do it.

Anyway enough from me. Other thoughts anyone? :)

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