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Who’s up for a trip to Mars with the wife?
Posted: 04 March 2013 02:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Occam. - 04 March 2013 02:23 PM

I tend to agree with Lois.  And, another hazard that I didn’t see mentioned is if we start off with an older couple, stick them in a space vehicle and they are there for many months, what do they do if one of them happens to die?  Does the other shove the deceased out an air lock, or would they even have a big enough ejestion tube?

Occam

They actually have a contingency plan for that although the details were not given out in the press release. I have no idea what they plan to do.  From what i read they are not looking for an elderly couple, but one that is just beyond child bearing years and I’m sure you would have to go through a pretty extensive physical. It wouldn’t rule out the possibility of death or illness on the trip but they would try to minimize that risk as much as possible. Its a very risky mission in a lot of ways so this won’t be the sort of trip that just anyone can go on. Whoever volunteers for this is going to have to be made of the right stuff physically, mentally, and emotionally so they can deal with whatever might happen including the death or illness of their partner. They will be more alone than any humans have ever been for 510 days with absolutely no way to send a rescue mission or supplies if things go wrong.

Just to clarify something, this particular mission is a private enterprise funded with private dollars.. No tax dollars involved.

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Posted: 04 March 2013 09:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 03 March 2013 10:29 PM
Coldheart Tucker - 03 March 2013 08:54 AM

The next few decades are critical, but if we can manage to avoid a major war (on the level of WWII or greater), we should be able to make it.  No guarantees that we can do that, of course.

I’m amazed!  You think another world war is all we have to worry about?

You think this experiment with our atmosphere and our oceans is just another externality to be ignored?

Nope.  They might drive us into a global war, but by themselves, they won’t wipe us out.  Nor is it impossible for a group of billionaires to get us a Martian colony.  Adjusting for inflation, NASA’s budget has essentially been flat since the 60s (there’s been spikes, usually after the loss of one of the shuttles), and the combined wealth of Musk, Branson, Bigelow, Bezos, and Paul Allen (all of whom have invested in space related projects) is enough to handle it (provided they’re willing to forgo blowing it on useless luxuries like extra mansions).  Remember, most of the costs associated with Apollo were basic R&D, folks working today don’t have to tackle nearly as many issues as the folks during Apollo, as the “hard” work has already been done.

None of this means that it will happen, of course.  Musk claims that he’ll be doing 1,000 launches a year by 2019, which I find hard to believe.  Even at $500/lb. (Musk’s estimate of how low they can get a payload into orbit), there’s not that large of a customer base, and we’re rapidly running out of room to put satellites in orbit.  I won’t even get into their plan to mine asteroids, other than to say that without a space elevator, its a useless proposition.

What we are seeing with the billionaires, is akin to the run up to the dotcom bubble.  Everybody knows that cheap space travel will have a huge payoff, but nobody really knows what its going to be, or how its going to come about.  So their solution is throw all kinds of things against the wall to see if any of it sticks.  There’s going to be a lot of broken dreams, and dashed hopes, but at the same time, after the weakest have gone under, the survivors will be able to pick up valuable pieces of technology and run with it, at fire sale prices.  The same thing happened with the Iridium satellite phones.  Gates, Cox, and others, spent billions to start the company, and it quickly folded, because there was no way to recoup the startup costs in a short period of time.  However, a group of investors were able to buy the assets and name of the company for a mere $25 million (a fraction of what it all cost), and turn it into a profitable venture.  Tito’s Mars proposal is going to fail, but it’ll have laid ground work for the next group to build upon.

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Posted: 05 March 2013 04:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Coldheart Tucker - 02 March 2013 10:34 AM
Lois - 02 March 2013 10:22 AM
macgyver - 01 March 2013 01:44 PM

http://www.space.com/19998-inspiration-mars-mission-married-crew.html

I tried to convince my wife but when she heard you couldn’t stop and stretch your legs once you got to Mars she balked. She thought we should at least be able to pick up a T-shirt at the gift shop while you were there. Anyway I gave it a shot. Anyone else here up for a long cozy trip out of this world?

We have enough problems on earth.  Why look for more?

I always find it hysterical when someone uses a technology, like the internet, that owes its existence to the space program, to dis the space program.  We have been mucking about on the Earth for hundreds of thousands of years, trying to solve the same problems of war, poverty, ignorance, and disease, but didn’t begin to make huge progress in any of those areas until the space program got going.  We can mine the asteroids for resources that we need here on Earth, or we can continue to tear up the planet and render it unfit for human life.  We learn by expanding our horizons, not by circling the wagons.  Tito’s idea has a lot of flaws, but better we push out, than confine ourselves to this one planet.  Otherwise, we’re going to go extinct.

Besides that, most of the people going would be theists and we know what wonderful company they make.

There’s only two people who’re going to be going on this trip, and they’re most likely going to be a married couple.  One would think that they’d know how to get along with one another.

LOL On a trip like that, someone’s gonna die!

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Posted: 05 March 2013 04:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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To be serious, the idea of frivolous travel to Mars is absurd at this point.  Maybe worth thinking about, in the very long run, IMO

Homo Sapiens Sapiens will probably become a spacefaring species eventually, but, it’s only going to be a relatively small number who actually do the space travel.

Space “investing” is a good idea in the long run for some. The majority of the human race will likely perish here on Earth, however, before any massive colonization of other worlds takes place, if ever.

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Posted: 05 March 2013 07:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Coldheart Tucker - 04 March 2013 09:17 PM
citizenschallenge.pm - 03 March 2013 10:29 PM
Coldheart Tucker - 03 March 2013 08:54 AM

The next few decades are critical, but if we can manage to avoid a major war (on the level of WWII or greater), we should be able to make it.  No guarantees that we can do that, of course.

I’m amazed!  You think another world war is all we have to worry about?

You think this experiment with our atmosphere and our oceans is just another externality to be ignored?

Nope.  They might drive us into a global war, but by themselves, they won’t wipe us out. 

I guess this point is what it all comes down to.  Most folks seem to be under the impression that this Global Warming thing is like a leaky roof, who care’s, put a bucket under it and pack up we’re going to Disney Land.  Whereas to me Manmade Global Warming is… after four decades of being willfully ignored by all who could have made a difference… smoldering and ready to catch a breeze of air and ignite into flame.

I would love to be wrong, but a serious look at the past decades reveals that there is much to be alarmed about and our runway of opportunity - for influencing our planet’s physics - is slipping away behind us, while greed blinded political/business bast…s continue to do everything to confuse and delude the apathetic public and being way the hell too successful at it.

While our economy mighty and resilient though it may be, has a few Achilles’ heels and is extremely dependent on relatively benign and predicable weather patterns.  Also the changes society is forcing on our atmosphere and biosphere have a mass and momentum that’s not going to stop for wishful thinking.  After we pass the 2 degree mark we will keep on marching up the thermometer scale, while our global heat distribution engine continues getting more energetic and chaotic with every season.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Also:
Explaining recent global warming’s impacts on weather

Three lectures that discuss important aspects and observed dynamics of our global heat distribution engine.  They come from last years “Breckenridge Weather and Climate Summit.”

[ Edited: 05 March 2013 07:57 AM by citizenschallenge.pm ]
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Posted: 05 March 2013 06:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Heck it get’s better all the time.  tongue wink   sorry you know after stumbling onto this I had to share shut eye

Mars trip to use astronaut poo as radiation shield

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23230-mars-trip-to-use-astronaut-poo-as-radiation-shield.html
01 March 2013 by Jacob Aron and Lisa Grossman

The man and woman aboard the Inspiration Mars mission set to fly-by the Red Planet in 2018 will face cramped conditions, muscle atrophy and potential boredom. But their greatest health risk comes from exposure to the radiation from cosmic rays. The solution? Line the spacecraft’s walls with water, food and their own faeces.

“It’s a little queasy sounding, but there’s no place for that material to go, and it makes great radiation shielding,” says Taber MacCallum, a member of the team funded by multimillionaire Dennis Tito, who announced the audacious plan earlier this week.

McCallum told New Scientist that solid and liquid human waste products would get put into bags and used as a radiation shield – as well as being dehydrated so that any water can be recycled for drinking. . .
{...}

Did you notice this:
“potential” boredom    LOL

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Posted: 05 March 2013 06:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 05 March 2013 06:18 PM

Heck it get’s better all the time.  tongue wink   sorry you know after stumbling onto this I had to share shut eye

Mars trip to use astronaut poo as radiation shield

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23230-mars-trip-to-use-astronaut-poo-as-radiation-shield.html
01 March 2013 by Jacob Aron and Lisa Grossman

The man and woman aboard the Inspiration Mars ...
Did you notice this:
“potential” boredom    LOL

Your point is? I’m pretty sure anyone volunteering for such an undertaking would be well aware of what they are getting in to. It’s really only their concern not ours. Sort of reminds me of all the people who thought manned space flight should end when the challenger accident happened. Astronauts understand the risks and are willing to take them. It’s really not the prerogative of anyone else to decide its too dangerous. These are grown adults. They know what they are doing and have decided the contribution they are making to the human race is worth the risk or in this case the boredom.

[ Edited: 05 March 2013 06:31 PM by macgyver ]
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Posted: 05 March 2013 08:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 05 March 2013 07:34 AM
Coldheart Tucker - 04 March 2013 09:17 PM
citizenschallenge.pm - 03 March 2013 10:29 PM
Coldheart Tucker - 03 March 2013 08:54 AM

The next few decades are critical, but if we can manage to avoid a major war (on the level of WWII or greater), we should be able to make it.  No guarantees that we can do that, of course.

I’m amazed!  You think another world war is all we have to worry about?

You think this experiment with our atmosphere and our oceans is just another externality to be ignored?

Nope.  They might drive us into a global war, but by themselves, they won’t wipe us out. 

I guess this point is what it all comes down to.  Most folks seem to be under the impression that this Global Warming thing is like a leaky roof, who care’s, put a bucket under it and pack up we’re going to Disney Land.  Whereas to me Manmade Global Warming is… after four decades of being willfully ignored by all who could have made a difference… smoldering and ready to catch a breeze of air and ignite into flame.

I would love to be wrong, but a serious look at the past decades reveals that there is much to be alarmed about and our runway of opportunity - for influencing our planet’s physics - is slipping away behind us, while greed blinded political/business bast…s continue to do everything to confuse and delude the apathetic public and being way the hell too successful at it.

While our economy mighty and resilient though it may be, has a few Achilles’ heels and is extremely dependent on relatively benign and predicable weather patterns.  Also the changes society is forcing on our atmosphere and biosphere have a mass and momentum that’s not going to stop for wishful thinking.  After we pass the 2 degree mark we will keep on marching up the thermometer scale, while our global heat distribution engine continues getting more energetic and chaotic with every season.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Also:
Explaining recent global warming’s impacts on weather

Three lectures that discuss important aspects and observed dynamics of our global heat distribution engine.  They come from last years “Breckenridge Weather and Climate Summit.”

Problem is, our models aren’t very good at telling us what’s going to happen and when.  We know something bad is coming, but the debate is at the rate and the level of extremity.  And unlike the majority of us, the 1% can afford to get out of the way, no matter how fast it comes on.  Could it push our society into war?  Yup.  Will it?  I dunno, and neither does anyone else.

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Posted: 05 March 2013 08:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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macgyver - 05 March 2013 06:26 PM
citizenschallenge.pm - 05 March 2013 06:18 PM

Heck it get’s better all the time.  tongue wink   sorry you know after stumbling onto this I had to share shut eye

Mars trip to use astronaut poo as radiation shield

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23230-mars-trip-to-use-astronaut-poo-as-radiation-shield.html
01 March 2013 by Jacob Aron and Lisa Grossman

The man and woman aboard the Inspiration Mars ...
Did you notice this:
“potential” boredom    LOL

Your point is? I’m pretty sure anyone volunteering for such an undertaking would be well aware of what they are getting in to. It’s really only their concern not ours. Sort of reminds me of all the people who thought manned space flight should end when the challenger accident happened. Astronauts understand the risks and are willing to take them. It’s really not the prerogative of anyone else to decide its too dangerous. These are grown adults. They know what they are doing and have decided the contribution they are making to the human race is worth the risk or in this case the boredom.

There are studies which seem to indicate that our concerns about radiation are overblown.

Today, 60 years later, the study’s results are clear. More than 700 people eventually died as a result of radiation received from the atomic attack:

87 died of leukemia;


440 died of tumors;


and 250 died of radiation-induced heart attacks.


In addition, 30 fetuses developed mental disabilities after they were born.

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Posted: 06 March 2013 09:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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macgyver - 05 March 2013 06:26 PM

Your point is? I’m pretty sure anyone volunteering for such an undertaking would be well aware of what they are getting in to.

Not unless they’ve practiced spending a couple years locked up in a boiler room.

red face

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Posted: 06 March 2013 10:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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Quoting CT:

Today, 60 years later, the study’s results are clear.
More than 700 people eventually died as a result of radiation received from the atomic attack:

87 died of leukemia;

440 died of tumors;

and 250 died of radiation-induced heart attacks.

In addition, 30 fetuses developed mental disabilities after they were born.

The problem with that study as you presented it is that it doesn’t compare those events with a population of equal size over the same period of time to see how many occurred without the radiation blast.  The 700 sounds reasonable.  How many would have gotten leukemia or tumors or been born with mental disabilities over the same time without the bomb?

Many deaths occur during major catastrophes.  Hurricanes, earthquakes, standard bombing all seem to precipitate heart attacks.  How can we assume these 250 were radiation-induced?

Note:  I’m not arguing in favor of nuclear weapons, only questioning the study.

Occam

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Posted: 06 March 2013 11:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Coldheart Tucker - 05 March 2013 08:52 PM
citizenschallenge.pm - 05 March 2013 07:34 AM

While our economy mighty and resilient though it may be, has a few Achilles’ heels and is extremely dependent on relatively benign and predicable weather patterns.  Also the changes society is forcing on our atmosphere and biosphere have a mass and momentum that’s not going to stop for wishful thinking.  After we pass the 2 degree mark we will keep on marching up the thermometer scale, while our global heat distribution engine continues getting more energetic and chaotic with every season.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Also:
Explaining recent global warming’s impacts on weather

Three lectures that discuss important aspects and observed dynamics of our global heat distribution engine.  They come from last years “Breckenridge Weather and Climate Summit.”

Problem is, our models aren’t very good at telling us what’s going to happen and when.  We know something bad is coming, but the debate is at the rate and the level of extremity.  And unlike the majority of us, the 1% can afford to get out of the way, no matter how fast it comes on.  Could it push our society into war?  Yup.  Will it?  I dunno, and neither does anyone else.

“Problem is, our models aren’t very good at telling us what’s going to happen and when.”
That all depends on the expectations you place on them. 
That strategic reptilian-brained-billionaire funded denialist PR campaign has mutated the publics understanding - somehow tricking folks into believing that if an Earth studies model can’t reach the degree of accuracy that an engineer planning a bridge or plane can manage than we should ridicule and ignore it’s finding.  Utter dishonest BS!

I’ve used the analogy more than once that this type of nit-picking is like arguing over whether your vehicle is heading at that tree going 75mph or merely 65mph - rather than focusing on doing something to stop the dang thing. 
Folks think they can ignore the fact that the models have been “plenty” accurate, though not surprisingly imperfect. 
I was going to list some model information sources but, perhaps a fresh thread would be more appropriate for that.

“We know something bad is coming, but the debate is at the rate and the level of extremity.”
Yea, we know, given all the decades of inaction - That at this point the changes to be expected go from very disruptive - to utterly catastrophic. 
And The Reptiles say leave our party alone!  Let’s wait to see how bad it’s really going to get. 


As for “the 1% can afford to get out of the way”... I got my doubts, I suspect they are way more dependence on the other 99% than their reptilian-pea-brains will allow them to recognize.  To say nothing of everyone’s dependent on farming, industry, the power grid and international transportation links. 
And Yes Virginia, given our collective wasted decades we will be witnessing massive disruptions in all those systems along with everything in-between - WITH NO MAYBE ABOUT IT -  Deniers can bitch about “rather accurate models” not being accurate enough all they want, still bottom-line simply because the climatologist’s picture isn’t in absolute focus does not mean the slightly out of focus image they have painted is any less real.

[ Edited: 06 March 2013 11:35 AM by citizenschallenge.pm ]
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Posted: 06 March 2013 01:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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macgyver - 04 March 2013 02:39 PM
Lois - 04 March 2013 12:58 PM

I was only able to take a quick look at the Freakonomics website.  I notice that the first of the advantages listed by Hubbard was as follows

1. Space exploration will eventually allow us to establish a human civilization on another world (e.g., Mars) as a hedge against the type of catastrophe that wiped out the dinosaurs.

To me, this is pie in the sky, science fiction, wishful thinking. 
No matter what percentage of the budget the space program represents, imagine if $18.5 billion were spent on fixing our medical system or shoring up our failing infrastructure, or fixing our broken social services system so people are not living and dying in the streets!

I’m not trashing your whole argument.  There are advantages to any scientific program.  I simply think that the space program costs more than the results warrant.  I’ll read the other site soon.

Regardless of that statement on the freakonomics website, establishing a colony on another planet to save humanity is not one of the primary goals of our space program and never has been. Your ignoring all the other benefits I mentioned though and if you read the document at the other link you will find that the space program probably costs us nothing because the financial rewards are far greater than the investment made.

Using $18 billion dollars to fix our broken medical system would do practically nothing since we already spend about $2 trillion per year on health care. The answer isnt to spend more, we have to figure out how to spend a whole lot less. Our infrastructure repairs are projected to require another $1 trillion more than we are currently spending and $18 billion won’t make much of a dent there either. In both cases we would have to decimate one of our most successful scientific endeavors and we would see little or no improvement in either of those areas as a result.


I’m not going to get into a point by point argument with you. For one thing, I tend to agree with you on most issues.  But the $2 trillion a year apent on Medical care is not contributing one cent toward fixing the system, nor is it designed to.  It is paying for a broken system that is leaking cash through every pore.  Too manynpeople and corporations are getting rich from the system as it is now. If we had a decent system the costs would be more in line with medical costs in other developed countries. Instead we pay far more for health care than almost anywhere else, with no end in sight.  Meanwhile far too many people are dying for lack of care. This should not be happening in a country as rich and powerful as the United States.

.....

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Posted: 06 March 2013 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Lois I agree with you 100% on the issue of health care. If you have seen any of my posts on this subject you would know I am a supporter of universal health care. I don’t see how closing down NASA and saving $18 billion will get us there any sooner though. Its not a lack of money that is stalling the effort, its a lack of will on the part of our representatives and the people who elect them.

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Posted: 06 March 2013 04:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Occam. - 06 March 2013 10:19 AM

Quoting CT:

Today, 60 years later, the study’s results are clear.
More than 700 people eventually died as a result of radiation received from the atomic attack:

87 died of leukemia;

440 died of tumors;

and 250 died of radiation-induced heart attacks.

In addition, 30 fetuses developed mental disabilities after they were born.

The problem with that study as you presented it is that it doesn’t compare those events with a population of equal size over the same period of time to see how many occurred without the radiation blast.  The 700 sounds reasonable.  How many would have gotten leukemia or tumors or been born with mental disabilities over the same time without the bomb?

Many deaths occur during major catastrophes.  Hurricanes, earthquakes, standard bombing all seem to precipitate heart attacks.  How can we assume these 250 were radiation-induced?

Note:  I’m not arguing in favor of nuclear weapons, only questioning the study.

Occam

The linked article mentions other studies for areas like Chernobyl, where there do not appear to be high rates of death from radiation.  Additionally, in many cases, the tumors caused by radiation levels like those which would be experienced by astronauts on such a journey (barring a CME), would be of the slow growing variety.  If we assume that the crew were in their early 50s, they could potentially expect to live another 20 years, even if they weren’t treated.  IIRC, the average life expectancy in the US is ~78 years old, so at worst, they would lose 8 years of life, assuming nothing went wrong on the mission to cause their deaths.

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