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General interest of the people

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Fri Jul 23, 2004 12:22 pm
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General interest of the people 
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Post General interest of the people   Posted on: Fri Jul 23, 2004 12:22 pm
In the fore of the german Mars Society Section today has been stated, that in Germany very very few people are interested in space missions.

May be that most people are busy with there own "problems" down here on earth. They tend to ignore space missions, space travels, spacecrafts. This ignorance acts as a barrier - and it's difficult to remove because it is a passive barrier.

So we have to find ways how privatized space travels might provide solutions to the "problem" the people are busy with.

Same-Day-Package-Delivery may be such a solution. What packages important for the people might be delivered by private space travels more quickly?

What other problems people are busy with might be solved by privatized space travels to remove the passive barrier?



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Post Re: General interest of the people   Posted on: Fri Jul 23, 2004 3:28 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
In the fore of the german Mars Society Section today has been stated, that in Germany very very few people are interested in space missions.

May be that most people are busy with there own "problems" down here on earth. They tend to ignore space missions, space travels, spacecrafts. This ignorance acts as a barrier - and it's difficult to remove because it is a passive barrier.

So we have to find ways how privatized space travels might provide solutions to the "problem" the people are busy with.

Same-Day-Package-Delivery may be such a solution. What packages important for the people might be delivered by private space travels more quickly?

What other problems people are busy with might be solved by privatized space travels to remove the passive barrier?

Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)

I think you've hit the nail on the head. For an individual in the near future, space tourism is the only market that makes sense.

As far as Same-Day-Package-Delivery, I'm not sure that there is much of a market at the cost of even much cheaper space flight as compared to current package delivery. I send and receive 2-day-package Delivery between Texas and China at a modest price from FEDEX or UPS.

Then there is of course, industrial zero-g experiments/manufacturing.

So now we are back to space tourism. With a cost of $20 million for an obital multi-day stay or $100,000 for a few minutes of sub-orbital fun, most people are saying, "Space is for the Rich & Famous." However, when the Rich & Famous start to take more space flights, then more capital will be available for even lower cost space flight.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 23, 2004 3:38 pm
I actually tend to think that space tourism will be a small part of any future business for commercial entities in space.

I would think that low gravity manufacturing would have a higher profit potential, and low-cost (at least lower cost than government ships) would have potential in delivering raw materials and workers and retrieving manufactured materials and workers from in orbit.

Not to mention the potential for satelite launches.

I agree with traveler regarding package delivery as not being a high volume business. Right now I can overnight something pretty much anywhere in the world. What could I possibly want to deliver that I need to be somewhere in two hours instead of in 8?

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Post    Posted on: Sat Jul 24, 2004 1:28 pm
Same-Day-Package-Delivery only was an example because the XPRIZE Foundation is listing it.

But let's work out such things and search for other to be worked out too - for one simple reason: An advice from Geoffrey A. Moore in his book "Inside the Tornado", New York 1995. I mentioned him a short time ago at quite another place in this message board.

His advice is first to satisfy tecnology enthusiasts, then visioneers, third pragmaticians, forth conservatives and leave scepticians to themselves. Done all that as much single different business fields are to be satisfied to gain great success.

To turn back to Same-Day-Package-Delivery I have in mind special tiings. There are Packages that have to be delivered as quickly as possible because of their contents - it might have a very short lifecycle or it might be needed quite quickly. The concrte example I'm thinking about is medicine - especially a kind of medicine there is lack of in a very distant region ruled by an epidemie. There neede lots of this medicine and its lifecycle may be less than two days.

Another example is a medical specialist - he might be to only one or one of only five all over the world and he is to be at the place of the epidemy within hours.

In this urgent situations private space travels might prove to be very much use.

These examples are beyond the normal all days problems of the people but they might recognise the usefulness of spacships and then detect that there are things they want to have more quickly than they are used. If so the point is reached where spacships are of use solving some "problems" the people are busy with.

What fields else are existing?



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Post    Posted on: Sun Aug 01, 2004 8:44 am
How about this. People love sports, so.. Use it as a platform for a new sport called "spacediving'. People could hop into scaled-down spacesuits with a parachute on it and freefall/glide back down to earth from the edge of space.
Or is that something that just I want to try?
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Post    Posted on: Sun Aug 01, 2004 9:05 am
This would be a specific kind of space tourism: It may be healthy and makes fun.

But I'm sorry - it doesn't assist the people managing their all-day problems. So it won't be stimulateing general interest in privet spaceships and/or private space travels comparable to the general interest in planes and air traffic I suppose.



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Post    Posted on: Sun Aug 01, 2004 12:16 pm
Hm, I still am having trouble visualizing how to get past the passive barrier that keeps the public's attention from space travel. If only we could get back to the Mercury/early Apollo excitment. (but even look how quickly that faded...by the end of the Apollo missions, even these were passe).

As for people seeing space tourism as just for the rich, I am certain that at this pace, in 5 years we could have $10,000 flights. Still expensive, but definately worth a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

So if tourism might not be the first billion-dollar industry to benefit from space travel, what other commercial success will happen first? Is there that much interest/profit in low gravity manufacturing? (I don't know too much about this field, but it seems as if there would be tons of startup costs). I was personally thinking of asteroid mining as a possible success.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Aug 01, 2004 6:43 pm
In principle someone has to do something at the first glance having nothing to do with space or space travels I suppose - he has to look what the all-days problems of the people in detail are - and he is required to try to list them totally. This person should be someone having a private suborbital spacecraft and having the strong desire to do useful things with it. So he has to list totally in detail what are all the service that might be done with his spacecraft.

This person will give the ignition to the raisiung of a new market. If he once supplies a new solution by using his spacecraft successfully this will be the breakthrough.

Manufacturing in Space and Mining in Space are good and great fields of usefulness.

But there is a problem, an obstacle to find a solution for. On the surface there are so much products of manufacturers and so much materials of Minind Companies to be transported that giant ocean ships are needed. These ships are subject to an economical "problem" politics have to struggle with and no solution is known for: The volume of products to transport is increasing - so the volume of ships is increasing to. But to increase the volume of a ship only its service is to be increased and so transportations costs of a single ship are decreasing.

Now consider manufacturers and miners in space - if they will produce as much as those on earth at the first glance they seem to require similar transportation volumes: spaccrafts as huge as todays giant ships - loaded to an amount similer to the load of the ships. Imagine the weight to be launched or to be landed safely. Impossible.

One solution I myself have found a few years ago: Transportation in orbit and delivery to destnation (city, location of a fabric etc.) by small unmanned "containers able to safe reentry and gliding arriving several times a day. That might work -and spacecrafts like those of the XPRIZE teams might be fit to this if they were able to decelarte quickly and safely and at not to much costs from orbbital velocity to XPRIZE-velocity

What do you think about this? What thoughts, ideas and imaginations?

Bur there is another point quite more real and urgent - the exhaustion of fossile propeööant in the nearby future. If I know it right kerosene is an oil-product. And the sources of oil will be exhausted in a few decades latest.

But without kerosene - what will the airlines do? There will be substition possible by other propellants ore by sun power - yes. But all propellant prices will increase I suppose.

If suborbital spacecrafts migh be optimized up to a point where they are consuming less prpellant for a given number of passengers and a given distance than airplanes suborbital space travel will be a solution for worldwide prpellant shortness.

Another opportunity might be transporting chemicals polluting the environment to space to break them up by radiation, solar wind and sunlight and trnsaforming them to or using them as propellant.

All this aren't all-days problems of the people - but all this is contributing to the problems or removiking them partly.

Do you have additional thoughts, ideas etc.?



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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 02, 2004 4:27 am
I thought I would post this article here. This is a novel idea to get thousand of school kids excited and dreaming about going to space.

Zero-gravity Sports Contest

In space, not only will you hear screaming, but a referee’s whistle too.

Welcome to the off-planet playoffs courtesy of Gene Meyers, chief executive officer of the Space Island Group of West Covina, California. The group is putting the final touches on a novel contest involving some 40,000 public and private U.S. high schools.

It will invite the students to develop the rules for a wide range of games that could be played in a future space stadium – a huge free-floating, gravity-free cylinder in Earth orbit.

“Kids will need to go back to their math and science teachers to find out how basketball or hockey could be played without gravity,” Meyers reported at a recent Return to the Moon conference, held by the Space Frontier Foundation.

A targeted kick-off date for the contest is early October, with a mass-mailing of posters explaining how to enter the Internet-based competition for ideas. Meyers said that sponsors of the contest are being limited to sports clothing companies and manufacturers of non-carbonated, fruit drinks or bottled water.

“Teachers say that they’ve been trying for years to convert student enthusiasm in athletics into an interest in the math and science behind sports, but students have intuitively learned the physics by simply practicing the game. Removing gravity from the sport forces them back into the classroom,” Meyers told SPACE.com.

“A paragraph on the poster will outline our plan to place such an arena in orbit by 2010,” Meyers added. For years, the Space Island Group has studied use of orbiting space shuttle external tanks to offer habitable volume for a range of activities.

“In fact, we’ve had companies ask about the naming rights of the actual stadium in orbit,” Meyers said.

http://www.spaceislandgroup.com/press_9.html

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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 02, 2004 6:48 am
Who will finance the school kids' participation?

In Germany nobody I think - the government is suffering from a lack of fiscal ressources concerning nearly everything and the general public here is'nt interested in space.

What way are schools financed in the US? May be this way is providing solutions to do as you designed it.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:17 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
Who will finance the school kids' participation?

In Germany nobody I think - the government is suffering from a lack of fiscal ressources concerning nearly everything and the general public here is'nt interested in space.

What way are schools financed in the US? May be this way is providing solutions to do as you designed it.

Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Germany should take a serious look at reducing the size and scope of its government involvement in the economy, education, business, etc. and consider privatizing its schools. But that is another subject.

In the US the government schools are financed through various taxes, probably not unlike Germany. But there is also in several areas, programs to allow parents to send their children to private schools with some of the taxes for education, which are called vouchers. Some have said that this is a better, more efficient use of taxes, while others have said this hurts the government schools.

In any case, Space Island Group is funding the competition. Of course, analytical design does not require much but imagination.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 02, 2004 6:15 pm
Concerning Germany and our government(s) you are completely right - I'm great annoyed about the things going on here and I#m engaged to change the situation.

But is the interetsing US-way you are describing in short providing the money needed for launching whole classes of school kids into space? If not it might help to work out criterions required for secting classes. The proposal is "sports in space" -should it provided to classes to,be teached a special part of physics for example?

A selection is required because the seats of the first suborbital spacecrafts are very rare compared to the number of school kids too.

What may be possible?



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Post    Posted on: Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:45 pm
I remember reading something on the topic a while ago. I believe it was actually a contest to see which group or team of students could create a zero G game and write the most complete report on the way it would be played with out gravity as well as rules, since some rules would obviously have to be changed. I'll try and find the site I was looking at and I'll get back to you.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:53 pm
Actually, it was the same site that traveler posted above. I'm not sure if it mentions anything about taking the kids up into space. Pther sites mention the prize being a scholarship to be split amonst the participating students as well as a grant for the school that the students are from.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Aug 03, 2004 11:10 pm
As a teacher I must interject here. Nobody said anything about having the kids who designed the game be the ones to try it out in 2010. Lord knows we have enough headaches chaperoning students on field trips, doing constant number checks, making sure no one gets away from the group, that they are doing what they are supposed to be doing, and that risks are minimized. (We even cancelled our yearly DC trip after 9/11 and took them to Boston instead).

I can't imagine what would be involved for taking students into space. First off, you would probably need to get special health checks on all of them. Then there are the parental consent forms. Then you need liability waivers for the whole lot, so if anything does happen, the school wouldn't be involved. Then you need to train the students. Plus I know of many of my own students who I definately *wouldn't* want them to be in space. (then again, they're the same batch I keep wanting to *send* into space....) But my god! This would be a nightmare....an educational nightmare, but still argh!

...sorry, just having trouble fathoming the implications. (take 30 8th graders to Washington for a week, and you can empathize).

If anything, this gets into the whole safety/liability issue of tourists and space travel. I tried to imagine the first Xcup, and how you could have a doorprize be a seat up to space. But think of the logistics at this point of making sure the person is healthy enough, and then all the other insurance waivers....

Any idea on how this would be done? (with adults?) What all did that billionaire have to do to go to up with the Russians?
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