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What's NEXT?

Posted by: Guitarian - Wed Oct 06, 2004 3:55 am
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What's NEXT? 
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Post What's NEXT?   Posted on: Wed Oct 06, 2004 3:55 am
This maybe way off in the future, but a independent Flight to the Moon(manned) is next. Then a Moon base and MARS.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 06, 2004 4:05 am
I find the general fixation on Mars lately to be unfortunate, although I realize that it's a decent motivator to get more people interested in space. Why unfortunate? Because I'd rather study Venus. :D (I even have a Mariner 10 image of Venus as my desktop wallpaper)

I'd really like to see a major effort put forth not only to colonize the moon, but to utilize it for things like setting up telescopes on the far side. I guess that's the other part of finding the Mars stuff unfortunate: (although I understand the reasoning behind this, as well) the moon is now viewed as little more than a stepping stone instead of a suitable destination by itself.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 06, 2004 5:55 am
Mars attracts most people's attention because it's the easiest place outside Earth to live and colonize. And it's an interesting place to boot.

Venus is just too damn hot, and none of the gas giants are habitable. Some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn hold promise, but they're much farther away than Mars.

This is all a moot point. Once getting into space (earth orbit) becomes cheap, there will be an explosion of human exploration. ALL of these places will be visited. You couldn't stop it.

The hard part is cheap access to earth orbit. Once you're there, you can pretty much go anywhere in the inner solar system. (going to Pluto will be hard cus it will take years and humans don't take years of zero G too well)

By cheap I mean something like less than $100 per pound into LEO.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 06, 2004 5:58 am
I stated that I understood the reasons in the hopes that someone wouldn't come along and waste time trying to explain something to me that I already knew.. but I guess it didn't work. :lol:

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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 06, 2004 6:13 am
LOL

Well, tell us why you find Venus so fascinating. Also, you said you want to study it.... as in go there, land on the surface and study? Or just look at it from orbit, or?


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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 06, 2004 6:27 am
I find the extreme nature of Venus to be fascinating. The whole runaway-greenhouse thing, the challenges of landing any functional survey craft there, apparent lack of plate tectonics, retrograde orbit, lack of a natural satellite, etc. While I would not take the rabid-environmentalist tack of "this is what could happen to Earth", I do believe that viewing how bad it is on Venus gives us some added perspective on just how well off we are on our own planet.


As for how I'd study it: Ideally it would be from a well-equipped space station in orbit around Venus.. but that's highly unlikely in my useful lifetime. Second would probably be observation from some moon-based effort.. but also somewhat unlikely in the remaining time that my body would even remotely be able to handle spaceflight. I'd settle for being involved in some Earth-based project to study it by unmanned mission there, if I were qualified to do so. (always comes back to that..)

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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 06, 2004 11:18 am
Why not try to get stimulated by Star Trek?

Indeed much of that world is utopic or unrealistic but some of its aspects are very realistic. Why not watch the episodes and read the books under the aspect of search for "What's next?



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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 06, 2004 11:31 am
Star Trek no longer inspires me. I won't even watch the Enterprise crap they peddle now. Even though I've watched and enjoyed a ton of DS9 the past few months, it doesn't inspire me. Babylon 5 also fails to inspire me, as much as I enjoy it. I also spent a lot of time reading Star Trek books while our power was out for Hurricane Charley (about a week without power, except by generator) and that didn't inspire me.

It could have something to do with the fact that my fiance and I spent the past few months assembling notes to try and make a pitch to Viacom/Paramount to make a Star Trek online game.. and a couple of former EA hacks came along and beat us to it. Now I'm mostly tired of hearing about Star Trek.

The things that inspire me now usually air on the Science Channel, like they're doing as we speak. (Shatner's narrating whatever I'm watching right now) Problem is, it's not enough inspiration to overcome internal issues.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 06, 2004 2:27 pm
Star Trek only is an Example - Banylon V would be too.

My intention was to turn the eyes away from all we are used to look at and to look another way on the things. Look at it from the opposite direction.

It might be stimulating if we imagine a possible future world and look from there to our present world. Then we first realize what has changed and then we will see the way it has changed - possibly.

What do we find in orbits in Star Trek? What in Babylon V? What in other SF-movies and stories?

Heinlein-Books have been mentionde in the message board. Special problems have been discussed under "Technology" or "Centennial Challenges". What solutions are used in SF-serieses, -movies and -books?

There may be much ideas, proposals etc. in the orbit or first "suborbital" that noone of us has detected yet.

Why couldn't be a rotating suborbital spacecraft the "NEXT"? It could be afirst step to artificial gravity. It's not required that the passenger cabin is rotating - it would be sufficient if something inside the cabin would be rotating and containing m&ms (Mike Melvill had them in SS1). Perhaps it proves to be providing good use for the vehicles. Might be a "NEXT" - doesn't it?

Such ideas could be stimulated by looking SF into the past better than by looking form now into the future I think.



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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 06, 2004 2:35 pm
I've been watching Star Trek since before TNG.. being a child of the 70s and all. I just don't find the kind of inspiration from it that you seem to think I should. If it inspires me to do anything, it would be to start up another proposal to make a space-based Massively Multiplayer Online Game.. not to get into actual research.

Science programming inspires me to get into actual research.. science fiction inspires me to try and create fiction. I don't want to create fiction right now.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 06, 2004 9:03 pm
Hehe speaking of Star Trek as inspiration...

In the early days of NASA back during the cold war, the entire facility used to SHUT DOWN whenever Star Trek came on and all of the employees would crowd around whatever TVs were available... Just for the sake of inspiration :P

As for the moon being a stepping stone... I'm completely with Strategery on this one... The moon has so much too offer the human race and it is extremely disappointing that so many view it as an inbetween step now... Granted, the colonization of the moon would serve as a basis for the colonization of other planets, but I think that the information that we could gather on the moon would be of paramount importance...

However I think that orbit will come before moon... Perhaps even a colony in orbit of some kind, maybe even just a rotating torus that could serve as a "space hotel"... we'll see how the space industry evolves within the next 15 years, it should be a heck of a ride :)

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Post    Posted on: Thu Oct 07, 2004 6:39 am
Hello, Cathleen,

I didn't want to oppone to Strategery71 and I agree to you.

By suggesting Star Trek, Baylon V and many other SF-movies, -serieses and -books as a source of inspiration and stimulation I had in mind that all this extends life to the wider environment of space where as speaking of larger distances, higher velocities and other planets only to me subjectively seems to be missing life.

I fear that reducing all space travel to distances and velocities will reduce the adventure in it slightly first and faster later. The people will get used to that and the rich might turn their faces to other things and private space travels might go down.

SF might show how to fill with exciting life the struggle for the orbit, the suborbital travels etc.

The NEXT can be the preparation for the orbit - tools and kitchens for Bigelow's Nautilus and the like. This might be more interesting because noboy has to wait years for the next adventure - for the first private spacecraft to reach the orbit we might have to wait ten years perhaps. So it will be good to fill the time by other NEXTs.

The NEXT step doesn't need to be the next goal. The next GOAL to me tooo is the orbit - but it's not the NEXT step on the way to that goal. But this STEP is very interesting und an adventure too.



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Post    Posted on: Thu Oct 07, 2004 11:52 pm
Thinking about SF books and movies as inspiration is admirable. I mean if we can imagine that much what are the possibilities? But its science that would need to keep up with imagination in the first place.

I agree with the previous post that our Goals should not be our next steps, its moving fast, thats when accidents occur, when there is a race to do it. True, what spurred all this was a space race, Xprize was created for it. But I believe it would be too rash of people to keep on trying to better the next team, space travel is still in its infancy. I suppose its been done with any technology in human history although, and it can't be stopped. Orbit also I believe is the next goal for private entrepeneurs, but what should be done next is questionable. I think other teams and corporations should stay on even getting to space before they reach further. Otherwise who knows what will happen with the whole new industry.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 27, 2004 4:27 pm
I'd have to say that I too think the next step should be orbital flight. While it's true that Apollo didn't really take advantage of the benefits of orbital flight, most theoretical plans for visiting any distant planet or planetoid seem to need orbital flight for an assembly phase. While a to-the-moon race would be interesting, it might be a bit more exciting for the race to have to do something besides just orbit the moon, or land on the moon and take off again.


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