Re: [gundam] Civilian Space Travel


Prabal Nandy (nandy@U.Arizona.EDU)
Thu, 1 Apr 1999 14:40:33 -0700 (MST)


> Actually Popular Mechanics ran a piece a few years ago on the old
> Saturn Rockets which can deliver much more payload to orbit than our
> space shuttle can, as can the Russian shuttle, our shuttle is a breadtruck

  Well, of course! Those big kerosene rockets were ENORMOUS!
  But think of all the greenpeace/amnesty-international/Green-party
libertarian doofuses crowding our country today and think of the high
stink they'd drop the moment they found out we were thinking about
launching _that_ kind of rocket again. Hell, we take enough flak launching
modern LH/LOX rockets, and the exhaust gas is _water_!

> not a semi. The Japanese, Russians and French all have better designs
> for shuttles, the Brittish design is great also, but except for the Japanese
> no one has the money to build theirs.

  Anyone can come up with a better design, what, 30 years down the road.
Big deal. The US is still the only country with the economic muscle to
actually _launch_ and support such a vehicle. And we still have by far the
best launching track record.

> > Which is why Mars won't be reached by Man for another 50-100 years at
> Actually we have had the technology for years to put men on Mars, and

  In the same way that we 'have' the technology to make sub-ocean
colonies. I.e., the basic technologies are there, but we simply aren't
ready to do it in an efficient, cost-effective manner.

> getting them back won't be a problem, but the vehicle to carry the fuel, air
> and the rest for both trips would be HUGE. We have just recently broken

  Yep. And frankly, it's a massive waste of resources just to put 180lbs
of human meat on another planet and bring it back. It makes alot more
sense to send robots right now.

> for an eventual trip to Mars, but funding for such a huge craft, and finding
> enough public interest to do it is sadly lacking. I don't think we sent our

  Yep!

> little robot probe to Mars for nothing. I know we didn't send a probe to the
> moon, we didn't make half the preparations then in the 60s that we do now

  Incorrect, we sent _several_ probes to the moon.

> and the reason is there is no one pushing us to do anything. So now NASA

  If the Russians are what it takes to get the US public interested in
space, then they simply don't deserve to go. Let the solar system be
colonized by the Chinese the while the Americans drive their Hondas and
watch their cable TV.

> moves more slowly, "We can send an unmanned mission to any of the planets
> now for less money than it takes to film a Hollywood movie" (or something to

  Yep! You can tell that this country's got its priorities straight.
Sheesh, I guess Mars just isn't as interesting as a movie about two idiots
on a boat that sank.

> that effect) but until we get our space station finished, unmanned probes
> will> be all we'll be sending.

  Hey, we're running out of funding for even _that_.

                                                                -Probe

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