Space hotel by 2012 ? I’m packing my bag now….
Posted: 14 August 2007 08:46 PM   [ Ignore ]
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http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/11/0516213

That would be nice. I have always thought that the Space Age just never happened. Where are the flying cars ?  Where is my robot maid ?
The technology could be there but nobody really tried to cash in on space tourism. I would like to hear some opinions why not.
Obviously NASA is out of the question. They are just probably waiting for all their shuttles to blow up and disintegrate and then they can close the space case and the agency.

Oh yeah the price tag is ridiculous but naturally it will have to drop. I’m getting my suitcases out…

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Posted: 14 August 2007 09:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The energy required to lift each pound of payload (people, food and oxygen) and all the ancillary equipment, say, 1,000 miles is far, far greater than is the amount to fly people across continent.  And, the equipment must be built so light that it’s fragile and requires a great deal of maintenance.  I doubt that the price will come down.

No, when the rest of the shuttles are phased out, I’m sure the politicians will be delighted to spend more huge sums of money to build the next generation of space vehicle, rather than using the funds for subsidizing education, constructing alternate energy production facilities, or upgrading our health care.  None of these is dramatic and newsworthy while they can use the space exploration to bolster their re-election campaigns. 

Geez, I’m constantly watching out for loonies driving in two dimensions.  I don’t think I could handle three dimensional loonies in flying cars.  LOL

Occam

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Posted: 15 August 2007 03:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I don’t know if it’s NASA’s fault, but it took a considerable talent to make space exploration boring. Personally I blame Kennedy, who made it about showing the US was better than the Russkies; that was fine and dandy while the Russians were ahead, but after the Moon landing, the American public grew complacent.

It’s not even an issue of cost. To a government that can tax a $13 trillion economy, space exploration is remarkably cheap. Everything is; the only things in the US that cost more than a hundred billion a year are defense, health care, social security, and education. Those four items together are responsible for, I think, about three quarters of all government spending in the US. The problem is that everyone agrees about the need for national defense, good public health, good public education, and social security for the retired, so people are remarkably more tolerant of a $100 billion waste in health care or education than of a $25 billion space program.

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Posted: 15 August 2007 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The problem is that everyone agrees about the need for national defense

I think the only defense we really need is from ourselves.
I have lived in Israel for almost seven years and there is a lot of money and effort put into defense and security there which is of course appropriate considering the situation in the Middle East. Why the USA pours so much money into this ? That is a puzzle for me .
On the another side most people think space exploration only lives in the imagination of sci-fi writers. Most people I talked to about it doesn’t understand what space exploration is “good” for. Well in the Middle Ages that was the argument against advances in science.
You don’t know what is it good for if you don’t even try it. How do you expect to ripe the benefits if you can’t overcome the hardships ?

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Posted: 15 August 2007 01:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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huge amounts of “defense” spending go to illegal & unnecessary wars, maintaing foreign military bases (the US has nearly 1,000; try looking up the second place leader) and keeping (and building new) stock(s) of weapons and equipment that will (and should) never be used.

in other words, while the public - and myself included - have no problem with spending on defense, most of what we spend is not for defense. freeing up the burden of paying for an empire that is doomed to fail could certainly help science (even richard feynman and neil degrasse tyson have noted that WW2 hindered scientific research more than it helped by focusing on the “war effort”).

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Posted: 15 August 2007 02:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Alon and truthaddict, don’t forget the national debt.  At eight trillion and an ultimate interest rate of, say 6%, that means about $480,000,000,000 a year.

Katwright, I agree that space exploration is essential, but we have gotten ourselves in a bad enough fiscal bind, that I think it’s going to be up to the Chinese in the coming years.

Occam

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Posted: 15 August 2007 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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occam,

goo!!

very good point.

how could i forget about the debt?

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Posted: 15 August 2007 03:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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katwright - 14 August 2007 08:46 PM

Where is my robot maid ?

I thought that many American families already had a robot slave to do the menial jobs around the house that they feel are above them?

The last I heard, the newest model was the “iCan”. It works for a pittance, never complains and sleeps in the garage.

The most popular model is disposable ‘Mex’ version. When it breaks down, you can just get another one and dump the old one in the street.

Although illegal, it seems the government overlooks using Mex iCans like this.

wink

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Posted: 15 August 2007 04:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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aviva chomsky has a book out about immigration. ive got alot to say on it but this obviously isnt the forum!

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Posted: 15 August 2007 08:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I think only the wealthy have servants, I.A.s or otherwise. 

An interesting aside.  While everyone thinks all the illegal aliens sneak across the border, it turns out that at least 40% of them came into the country legally, but didn’t leave when their visa expired.

Occam

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Posted: 15 August 2007 08:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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katwright - 15 August 2007 01:15 PM

The problem is that everyone agrees about the need for national defense

I think the only defense we really need is from ourselves.
I have lived in Israel for almost seven years and there is a lot of money and effort put into defense and security there which is of course appropriate considering the situation in the Middle East. Why the USA pours so much money into this ?

Because not enough people have read Jane Jacobs and Paul Kennedy. To Jacobs, defense spending is a transaction of decline, a form of spending that never goes to further innovation; the two other transactions of decline are subsidies to hinterlands (think farm aid and the TVA), and trade with backward regions (e.g. empires’ capital investment in their colonies).

To Kennedy, a country’s ability to win total wars is measured by its ability to mobilize its economy and by the size of its industrial capacity; however, prolonged high levels of peacetime defense spending divert money away from that industrial capacity. Before World War Two, the US spent 1% of its GDP on defense, while since WW2, it’s never been lower than the Clinton level of 3%. Right now, it’s 5%.

At any rate, Israel and Singapore are the only two developed countries where defense spending isn’t the lowest of the four. In the US, they break down as defense 4-5%, social security (including welfare) 8%, health care 7%, and education 5-6%. The only one that is low by European standards is social security. Excluding pensions, which are lower in the US largely because it has relatively few old people, welfare is about 2% of GDP in the US, plus 1% of social services; in Sweden it’s 8+7%. Differences in public spending on health and education tend to be small, and even then the US spends more than most.

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Posted: 15 August 2007 09:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I agree that space exploration has a value above the real, but small, technological advances that might someday have commercial implications. The view of earth from space had an impact on consciousness about our miniscule significance in the cosmos. And I agree that the relative proportion of the budget given to such exploration is trivial and easily justifiable. I think the amount we are spending on the war in Iraq is, by contrast, the worst investment the US has probably ever made. Surely we could have driven up the stock of international fear and loathing of us much more cheaply, since that seems to be the main outcome of the endeavor (other than the casualties, of course).

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Posted: 15 August 2007 10:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Is it more important to solve today’s problems or dream of a better tomorrow in space?
Space is a “maybe” …. Religious extremism is a “fact.”
The debt is justified by what the expenditure does… not what the expenditure is.
The debt does fight extremism.
Space is cool.

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Posted: 16 August 2007 10:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Entity - 15 August 2007 10:25 PM

The debt is justified by what the expenditure does… not what the expenditure is.
The debt does fight extremism.

thats baloney.

our military spending is not going to fighting religious extremism anymore more than our “aid” is going to alleviate poverty (giving money with strings attached that say the recipient must open their markets to foreign investors, suppress wages, protections, etc in a manner that sucks out wealth and leaves the place in more ruins is the problem, not a solution). much of what we spend on “defense” goes to the “military-industrial-complex”; meaning, we maintain and build technology and weapons that never get used. This is an old issue. so much so that Smedley Butler wrote about it before WW2.

in fact, our military spending and global posturing is helping to proliferate religious extremism. the purpose of the US spending more than half the worlds military budget is to maintain global hegemony via the threat and use of force (or to prop up satelites and proxy forces). We got nearly 1,000 foreign bases. How many does the rest of the permanent five of the UN security council have (even combined)? find that answer and contemplate that.

besides, a look at our allies shows that to be nonsense: Saudi Arabia, Israel, Pakistan, other gulf states, etc. the debt is not justified by what its used for: corporate welfare and maintaining an empire.

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Posted: 16 August 2007 11:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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truthaddict - 16 August 2007 10:46 AM

thats baloney.

You are not going to like what I am going to say but I think you are wrong.

truthaddict - 16 August 2007 10:46 AM

our military spending is not going to fighting religious extremism anymore more than our “aid” is going to alleviate poverty (giving money with strings attached that say the recipient must open their markets to foreign investors, suppress wages, protections, etc in a manner that sucks out wealth and leaves the place in more ruins is the problem, not a solution). much of what we spend on “defense” goes to the “military-industrial-complex”; meaning, we maintain and build technology and weapons that never get used. This is an old issue. so much so that Smedley Butler wrote about it before WW2.

I am not a big fan of Conspiracy theories. For every article you read that may support one hypothesis there is also one that debunks it. The US military spending is funding the war against Radical Religious Manipulators (RRM) who do far more harm to civilized society than the USA. The US army builds schools and hospitals that allow a basic infrastructure to emerge. The RRM kill innocent civilians in order to persuade the US left to force the current administration to buckle under political pressure. Religious persuasion by force is a cheap tool used by the RRM. Because their technique does not create a suitable environment for economic development a traditional military is unattainable, instead they rely on hit, and run tactics to demoralize. If you want to place blame for military funding start with the RRM. If they stand down so should the USA.
The RRM force the political because they cannot fight the military. The USA is politically weak and easily manipulated. This is because; the US is an open free society. Example: look how ready you are to place the blame on the US and justify the motivation of the RRM.

truthaddict - 16 August 2007 10:46 AM

in fact, our military spending and global posturing is helping to proliferate religious extremism. the purpose of the US spending more than half the worlds military budget is to maintain global hegemony via the threat and use of force (or to prop up satelites and proxy forces). We got nearly 1,000 foreign bases. How many does the rest of the permanent five of the UN security council have (even combined)? find that answer and contemplate that.

Would you rather be writing in Deutsch or Japanese?

truthaddict - 16 August 2007 10:46 AM

besides, a look at our allies shows that to be nonsense: Saudi Arabia, Israel, Pakistan, other gulf states, etc. the debt is not justified by what its used for: corporate welfare and maintaining an empire.


The root of the problem is not found in the American way of life. The problem is that all of the religious characters, in the drama, are founded on false religious assumptions. If you remove the inaccurate spiritual anomalies, you will begin to solve why the USA and its allies need to have faith in Humanity.

[ Edited: 22 August 2007 01:25 PM by Entity ]
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