Friday, July 29, 2005

Space shuttle

Looks like space shuttle Discovery is all right and can return safely to earth a lil' over a week from now. And even the whole foam shrapnel problem is being dealt with, possibly allowing the September launch of ( I think ) space shuttle Atlantis.

Now Atlantis is the important misson launch. Discovery was just for resupplying the ISS and testing flight safety procedures. When Atlantis goes into space, it will be carrying new sections of the unfinished space station that are long overdue. I'm excited ! This station is a huge step into space.

NASA is already working on pushing further into our solar system, leaving the earth orbit work to future private enterprise. This means that the Federal government is lessening it's grip on travel off planet. Potentially this might allow entreprenours to ply their ideas and breakthroughs for getting into low/middle/upper earth orbit and beyond. And since this is business based on eventual profits rather than a beaurocratic behemoth like NASA which isn't based on accountable profit making, we could see some REAL innovations! Private enterprise tends to be more productive than Federal agencies.

Possible private experiments could include Solar Sails, Improved satalight telecommunications, compounds developed in near zero-g environments, Biomedical tests, Plasma rockets, and even a few tantalizing theories postulated by Robert Winglee. Not to mention the prospect of mining asteroids in deep space for rare or even previously unknown substances ! Like I said, I'm excited !

Of course, this will start slow. Just tourists briefly hopping into low earth orbit, then after that will be resorts for longer stays. Eventually multiple deep space stations for permanent residents both scientific and otherwise. What we rilly need right now is a major breakthrough on artificial gravity that is economical, functional, and reliable. Well, that and extending the human lifespan (hopefully indefinitly) !

Live long and prosper, dude.

10 Comments:

At 4:25 AM, Blogger Anonymous said...

Imagine a future metal so that cars don't dent when the crash. Imagine no cars! Imagine if everything was solar powered. Imagine if Miss Daze could go back to her moon. Imagine .... think you have made me excited!

 
At 3:58 PM, Blogger isay said...

also great news for that little monster of yours---thinking there's another way than digging!

 
At 9:38 AM, Blogger steve said...

You're talking about Memory Metal and Memory Plasitc, Anonymous. After being deformed and bent into different shapes all you have to do is run a mild electical current through it and it resumes its original molded shape.
Pretty kewl, huh !

Solar power is improving due to NASA's near zero G experiments on the International Space Station. The percentage of solar energy that can be converted is edging upward and will continue to climb over the years.
Things are happening ! Despite all the bad news on tv, technological wonders are slowly appearing. Hell, 30 years ago most people thought alien life was a silly fantasy, nowadays it's quickly becoming accepted as possible.

Patients is a virtue. Chocolate should be too !
:-D

 
At 9:46 AM, Blogger steve said...

The adventures of Frogmon in outer space ?
Brrrrrrrrrrrrr !!!
I don't think our universe could withstand that assault, Isay.
But thanx for the suggestion !
:-)

 
At 1:04 PM, Blogger Boostymcstats said...

Private businesses have a lot better chance for this technology because they have less laws to deal with, people that would enjoy working for them, more of an incentive for profit, and they also don't have protestors and government hoops to jump through. On the other hand private companies will use cheaper parts, cheaper labor, and the possibility for Monopoly *coughmicrosoftcough*

 
At 2:03 PM, Blogger steve said...

Don't forget about competition, Paxton. Multiple businesses working to be the best at space exploration will create a drive to be the best on many levels.
For example:
The airline industry does have accidents that result in death, but is far safer in comparison to travel by automobile. Competition resulted in better sevice. At least until terrorism came into the picture. That is a wild card that is difficult to prevent. After all, mind reading is still an unproven skill.

As for cheaper parts and cheaper labor, that is the province of American voters. If we don't vote, then we have no voice in the world market. And Monopoly ? That only lasts as long as the common consumer tolerates it (can we say sabotage and pirating ?). After all, Bill Gates gets more personal spam than anyone in the whole world, sounds like there is a lil' justice in the universe.

Besides, it's a big universe. Kinda hard to control everyone in it...
:-)

 
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