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Why are people not interested in space, or dont even care?

Posted by: Stefan Sigwarth - Fri Mar 25, 2005 12:59 pm
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Why are people not interested in space, or dont even care? 
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Post    Posted on: Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:18 am
Then let's invite the whole world to participate! You can join our team! We are dedicated and driven to this goal! We need an army of space people, we can have a say! If we ban together and stop talking and start doing. What I mean is, that you dont belive we can do it? Or is it that you dont belive our team is capable? That we cant be strong enough? Thats what is keeping us on the ground YOU dont belive. You dont think its time and you dont think we are ready! When you belive and you are strong and you think we are ready then we will be READY! You decide you are ready and you will be ready! So get Ready!

Becase we are!
Monroe

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Post Re: Why are people not interested in space, or dont even care?   Posted on: Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:13 am
Awesome post Monroe, I couldn't have said it any better myself :) Long ago when the first Moon missions were proposed, almost all of the technology needed did not exist. NASA leaders asked each other, "Can we do this?" The rest is history. Their answer was "Yes, we can!". Belief in self, belief in our abilities and intelligence, belief in the future must drive us. People are not interested because they feel space has nothing exciting for them.

Here is a link to an article I found on this subject. Take a read and let me know what you think.

http://cumbriansky.wordpress.com/2009/0 ... s-beckons/

By the way, one our main areas of focus at MarsDrive is trying out new forms of public outreach and education. In fact it is one of our founding principles. Without the public, we have nothing.

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Post Re: Why are people not interested in space, or dont even care?   Posted on: Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:33 pm
You know what? I don't think anyone has ever been interested in space. Why would they? There is nothing there.

Together, the people of the world spent a little more than half a billion US dollars (about 1/17th of NASA's manned spaceflight budget) on Armageddon (the 1998 Bruce Willis film). And why not? It's a film about a blue collar worker guy who nobly sacrifices himself to save the world, fighting scientists with a lack of getting-things-done, good managers being hobbled by bureaucracy, bad advice given by people who were appointed for political reasons, and (military) stubbornness and insistence on protocol over common sense along the way. And then there's a nice subplot of the well-meaning but somewhat clueless father who tries to raise a (gorgeous, of course) daughter on his own; fortunately after a few twists and turns she ends up happily married to her hunky boyfriend (Bruckheimer would later use a very similar storyline in Coyote Ugly, but I digress). In between there's some good-natured (Andropov does save the mission after all) stereotyping of Russians, some spiritual stuff about us all being one humanity, and a funny story about a guy with his dog. Lots of people can identify with that.

Oh, you thought it was a film about going into space? It wasn't, and neither are a lot of other stories set in space. 2001: A Space Odyssey was about an artificial intelligence, Alien about maternal instincts, and Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy (which would be my favourite books if it weren't for his Three Californias series) is about how to organise society and how to live in and with the natural world. Ultimately, science fiction (as is most literature I guess) is about investigating human nature.

And that's what interests people. Other people, interactions with and between them, gaining social status, in short, how humans work and how to get something out of that knowledge. Not space. Space is millions and millions of miles of nothing at all, and that is awfully boring.

So what is the point of space? Well, exploration is one thing, which is just another word for completing a difficult task in an effort to gain social status. It's no different from trying to win the Tour de France seven times in a row, or climbing Mount Everest, or sailing around the world solo non-stop. As Lance Armstrong's book says, "It's not about the bike", and his fellow Armstrong, Neal, might as well have written a book "It's not about the moon". Apollo wasn't about space, or the moon, it was, as Kennedy said, about doing something because it is hard, something harder than what the Russians had already done. They might as well have had another war in between Korea and Vietnam, but fortunately (miraculously?) managed to channel their energies into something more productive.

There's another aspect to Apollo though. Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci wrote about the Apollo programme in her book "If the sun dies". She quotes Ray Bradbury:
Quote:
Don't let us forget this: that the Earth can die, explode, the Sun can go out, will go out. And if the Sun dies, if the Earth dies, if our race dies, then so will everything die that we have done up to that moment. Homer will die, Michelangelo will die, Galileo, Leonardo, Shakespeare, Einstein will die, all those will die who now are not dead because we are alive, we are thinking of them, we are carrying them within us. And then every single thing, every memory, will hurtle down into the void with us. So let us save them, let us save ourselves. Let us prepare ourselves to escape, to continue life and rebuild our cities on other planets: we shall not long be of this Earth!


That seems to me to be the only realistic, long-term reason for wanting to go into space. Really long-term reason, because it will take another few billion years for the sun to die and our planet to explode. And that gives you your answer. Billions of years and billions of miles are impossible to imagine. We have managed to deal with this intellectually, which has allowed us to send spacecraft all throughout the solar system, and even beyond. But to most people that doesn't mean anywhere near as much as, say, being given a lopsided smile by an attractive member of your preferred sex. Which makes sense, because if our ancestors had been staring at the stars instead of making babies, we wouldn't have been here.

So, that leaves us geeks: a tiny minority who place a greater than average emphasis on intellectual endeavours. We do look at the stars and dream of colonising space. We do think beyond tomorrow and our back yard. And even if that doesn't make any practical sense, humanity needs us, too, because the sun will go out eventually. But somewhere between then and now, we'll make humanity head out for the stars.

Welcome to the Fellowship.

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Post Re: Why are people not interested in space, or dont even care?   Posted on: Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:40 am
Cracking post Lourens.


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Post Re: Why are people not interested in space, or dont even care?   Posted on: Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:24 pm
Excellent post hahaha

Lol perhaps that last sentence could be addopted as a Space Fellowship moto hahahaha

Quote:
So, that leaves us geeks: a tiny minority who place a greater than average emphasis on intellectual endeavours. We do look at the stars and dream of colonising space. We do think beyond tomorrow and our back yard. And even if that doesn't make any practical sense, humanity needs us, too, because the sun will go out eventually. But somewhere between then and now, we'll make humanity head out for the stars.

Welcome to the Fellowship.


On another note, here is a great John Carmack quote about going into space!

Quote:
I don't really think the purpose of a space program is science. I think the base motive is to expand human civilization into space. It's about preparing way for where people are going to be in future. Science is a tertiary benefit. People weren't excited about landing on the Moon because learned about the early geology of Earth. They were excited because we landed on the damn moon.

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Post Re: Why are people not interested in space, or dont even care?   Posted on: Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:10 pm
One word: Economics.
Anything besides the basic necessities is out of the question if you don't have alot of money. For most of civilization, almost no people had the time or the economic ability to do anything besides survive. Most of humanity still is in that situation.

Fortunately, as technology gets better and better, more and more humans will have the ability to spend their resources on unecessary things like space travel. And technology is getting better and better fast. So I think that things look up for space travel.

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Post Re: Why are people not interested in space, or dont even care?   Posted on: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:14 pm
On to the original question, it will take time.

When the TV came out, a lot of people were not interested, and it took a long time for computers to become mainstream. When it these technologies faded in favor of the human aspect, TV the soapies and sport, computers the internet and email, only then did they became popular.

The same will happen with space, somewhere along the line, long after travel to other planets and space stations are there, someone will come up with the killer app, and that will make space popular.


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Post Re: Why are people not interested in space, or dont even care?   Posted on: Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:26 pm
New Scientist has an opinion piece on whether the end of human space flight is near or not, that touches on some of the issues mentioned here.

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Post Re: Why are people not interested in space, or dont even care?   Posted on: Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:29 pm
Why? Why wonder about that? Most people live treadmill lives, dealing with near term problems--job, marriage, money...

Best analogy is to look at the birth of the PC revolution. Only a small number got excited about computers. They got together, formed a community--meetings, magazines, user groups, started garage companies (Apple was literally a 2 man garage startup), and it grew.

An alt.space community is needed. Has not quite happened yet, but could soon. My view has always been that this could start with a core of a vertically integrated launcher/spacecraft system that does not have to much--maybe photograph NEOs--and by means of low cost frequent launch opportunity (many university Cubesat builder groups graduate before it launches if ever).

Then, a "killer app" needs to follow, as with Visicalc, etc. Perhaps it could be space burial (my guess and plan), followed by micro-lunar rovers, regolith return.

Not anything in LEO. That is no longer space exploration, and now is only a contribution to collision hazard.

And even after it gets going, most won't care. Most don't care about computers now--even those using them.

So we need to not wonder why most are not interested in space, but to make conditions right for the minority who do.


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Post Re: Why are people not interested in space, or dont even care?   Posted on: Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:55 pm
Actually, most people still are not interested in computers. Nearly everyone (at least in the West) uses them nearly continuously these days, but they don't care how or why they work. Back around 2000 there was a big increase in the numbers of computer science students, but most of the newcomers were interested in money, not in computers. When the dot-com bubble burst, they disappeared again, and went back to hanging out with their friends (online now, of course).

I think that the ultimate success of your microlaunchers will depend on whether they can help people do the things that people do. Big satellites do that by helping people to communicate with loved ones far away, be entertained by stupid TV shows, obtain information about our planet to satisfy our curiosity, etc. If microlaunchers are going to add additional such possibilities (send a physical postcard to someone on the other side of the world in a few minutes, by rocket and parachute?) or improve upon the existing ones (customised satellite pictures, transmission of smarter TV shows) then they might work. Most people still won't be interested in the rocket though.

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Post Re: Why are people not interested in space, or dont even care?   Posted on: Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:03 pm
Lorens misses the point. He says:

"Actually, most people still are not interested in computers..."

Literally true, but things were made to happen by the few who were interested .
------------------------------------------------

"I think that the ultimate success of your microlaunchers will depend on whether they can help people do the things that people do."

There were no such altruistic motives connected with the advent of microcomputers. It was the
direst hands-on ability to participate that started it. So it should be with Microlaunchers--the means to participate directly in hands-on mode space exploration. Not just to read about it or get ma job with some large corporation (SpaceX now has over 800).
-----------------------------------------------------

"Big satellites do that by helping people to communicate with loved ones far away, be entertained by..."

That has nothing to do with acquiring the means to directly start exploring space by photographing NEOs of your choice or orbiting Moon or designing some new propulsion means like small solar sales or 1 watt colloid thrusters.

These things can be done by energized enthused people. Google "1 gram rc planes". There is a small community of people building tiny radio controlled model planes. The record now is 225 milligrams. Of course, a spacecraft launcher and spacecraft is much more elaborate than a model plane, but is of the same idea. And the physics of rockets and the technology now available will allow it.
----------------------------------------------

" Most people still won't be interested in the rocket though."

True. But this will happen through a few who are.


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Post Re: Why are people not interested in space, or dont even care?   Posted on: Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:13 pm
I'm not thinking of altruistic motives, I'm thinking about the size of the market. How many people buy expensive telescopes? That should give you an idea of the amount of people interested in rocketry for the sake of discovery.

The microcomputer revolution got us all extremely powerful and cheap computers. Anyone can now do a billion calculations per second for a few dollars. But only very few people actually buy these computation machines. Everyone else buys a better typewriter, a cheaper way to talk to their friends, an easier-to-search encyclopedia, a more convenient way to manage their record collection, a less messy photo lab, a way to make better looking slide shows. They're not interested in doing a billion calculations, and they don't care that the technology involved just happens to be the same.

Everyone in my family has a computer. None of them are going to be launching a probe to the moon.

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Post Re: Why are people not interested in space, or dont even care?   Posted on: Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:20 pm
Lourens:

You seem to have missed the idea again. Thinking about size of a market misses the point that no such ideas were part of the interest in microcompiters at the start. It was interest on the part of some to gain access to direct participation in learning about computers through having one. Even though at first they could not do much and there was no developed software they bought them, communicated with each other, formed user groups, small startup companies (MITS, Apple...)
and the rest is history.

Many want to find a way to be involved in space exploration etc, but there is no way tyo do so now. Just reading about this or that NASA program is not involvement. Getting a job in some established aerospace company does not involvement either to many.

It takes actual hands-on involvement. To be able to design spacecraft at low cost, launch them at low cost and without a long wait. Some will want to develop small inexpensive launch means (Microlaunchers). Some will design lunar landers of very small mass (possible now). Some will want to explore--photograph, then orbit and land upon small near asteroids (there are thousands of them).

Only a small percentage of people at large will want to do this. But when that starts, a new phase of Space Age will begin.


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Post Re: Why are people not interested in space, or dont even care?   Posted on: Fri Nov 27, 2009 3:54 pm
Okay, maybe I am missing the point. I was under the impression that you wanted to make spacecraft and launchers as ubiquitous as microcomputers are today. If your aim is simply to have a few interested folks build something a bit bigger than what Estes sells, then my arguments are indeed of no consequence.

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Say, can you feel the thunder in the air? Just like the moment ’fore it hits – then it’s everywhere
What is this spell we’re under, do you care? The might to rise above it is now within your sphere
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Post Re: Why are people not interested in space, or dont even care?   Posted on: Sat Nov 28, 2009 3:08 pm
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Why are people not interested in space, or dont even care?

Because it's not accessible to them? Real space is seen as remote, the preserve of government and SciFi.

Perhaps if they could see Terra for what it is, and look out into the remote emptiness themselves... unfortuantely, suborbital space toursim is unlikely to be cheap enough, and only offers a few minutes of the view. Nearspace torusim, on the other hand... you don't get the zero-G, but you do get to "stand on the Veranda with a drink in your hand, watching the great blue ball of the Earth roll silently beneath".

What is needed is to make space more accesible. Part of that is making it possible for people to design, build, and launch their own missions - ckpooley's idea. Another part is making it so it is possible for private adventurers to take trips to the planets themselves, showing it is no longer the preserve of rich governments - this is the area rpspeck's working on. But these two together are not enough. Until people can stare out at the vast emptiness themselves, and look down at the great blue ball of Terra, we are not going to get anywhere.


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