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Old, fat, and slow
1,208 Posts
Dude, if you are going to imitate me and build walls of text .... , know when to quit.

I will need to disassemble this one over a span of time.

I think part of the point of the show was that we had the Saturn 5 and stopped building them, and now were are basically building a new version .... we could have just kept doing Apollo missions instead of futzing around for 50 years ... the space shuttle really had no mission, it was a cargo vessel to supply a space station which similarly had no mission ....

The video (I suggest you watch it if you can---it is not ripping space exploration, just the foul-up the US has made of it) points out that Skylab, the "test" space station, had a ton of built-in experiments, while the ISS .... very little was done there which has done much good, particularly compared to the cost and complexity.

As for a Moon base, obviously the only reason other than commercial mining (Hey, let's trash the Moon!!) is that once you are there you only need one-sixth the thrust to launch. (Oh, sorry, you mentioned that. I didn't read carefully.)

Personally I hope the human race dies or wises up on this planet. if we can't make it happen here, why spread like a virus? We have the best possible home in the solar system ... it is almost like we evolved precisely for these conditions (!!) and we are making it unlivable .... the only good thing about a Moon base is the people would vote for no taxes and no maintenance and everyone would die when the dome failed.

I have also been a military nerd for most of my life .... and the idea of weaponizing space is not a happy one .... but also wars are much more fought for economic gains now. "Conquering territory" just doesn't pay off like it used to. Seizing backward countries by force and stealing their resources is much harder when other countries will arm the natives (remember all the proxy wars, where nations paid other nations to fight? Once "Better dead than Red" stopped being a thing (or a thing which could be achieved militarily) then fighting for "hearts and minds" stopped ....

So now money is king, and military force is just an domestic business with overseas outlets. I don't think we will see any more "total" wars .... the costs are too high and the outcomes too uncertain. The Chinese taught us that .....

So space will get explored mostly by people trying to make a buck ... and that is something which rarely works out well for anybody but the very rich.

I am interested in the space program. I would much rather half of the taxes I spend to prop up the "defense " industry went to space exploration and science in general ..... but look at who is a big name is space---Elon Musk. never invented a thing (I guess he invented part of Paypal) but he saw an economic opportunity ... but is he in any way advancing science, or even the space program? Nope, he is just cashing in. and I bet he is one of the first to mine the moon---hey, no environmental laws up here!

Sorry, i am tired and hungry and not at all happy. I should revisit all this later.

To clarify, in closing---I am not against the space program, I just think ti is being run by the wrong people for the wrong reasons. More James Webb satellites, less waste.

You know what killed it for me? When cost-cutting cost lives in the Shuttle program. What used to be a dangerous endeavor everyone tried in triplicate to make safe, became just another program, where all that mattered was ink on paper ... until people blew up on TV.

it turns out the bean-counters overrode the scientists, and the scientists were afraid to stand up and say, "This will kill people." And it did.

That is when I knew we had totally lost the thread.

I don't think our government is capable of laying out, following, and reasonably adapting a 50-year plan. I don't think there are politicians who can sell such a plan to the people or the money-grubbers who really run the show. So i figure we will continue to get half-way plans that ultimately take us nowhere.

I love shows about other planets, other moons, other worlds .... I love learning about where science is taking us. I am intrigued by the moons of the gas giants and what might be there. But as far as I am concerned, everything is better without humans, and humans will never get there because we as a whole are too stupid to even survive in the perfect environment.

Am i confused ... right now I am so confused i can barely tell that i am. Sorry to waste your time. But if you get a chance see if you can watch the video. Neil deGrasse Tyson is NOT anti-science or anti-space-program. But a lot of the people on the show, Tyson included (and a lot are former astronauts and NASA officials) are upset at where the space program is today ... because we were here 50 years ago.

Or maybe something else .... I am confused.

Launch is Saturday now. not sure what time.

Old, fat, and slow
1,208 Posts
A few more space points: yes, the military would love to launch rocks from the Moon .... a simple catapult would do it. Ask the dinosaurs about fast-moving rocks ... oh, we can't because of a fast-moving rock. And yes, nuclear missiles from satellites -- or just falling satellites, if they were built to withstand the heat of re-entry--could devastate cities. I think a combination of Mutually Assured Destruction and economic loss are what prevents most nations form really considering such tactics.

As for Communist China .... yeah, not a fan. But I have to say, they aren't stupid (though evil.) Robots is the way to go.

No reason to try to create secure environments on distant planets to send people to die there. What we need to do is send robot parts to the ISS, partially assemble them and send them from the ISS to Moonbase Alpha, and from the Moon to wherever they are supposed to go. As you say, there is endless liquid rocket fuel on the Moon .... and we can run a mining operation on Earth from a laptop console.

Outer-planet exploration, even more so. Putting humans on the moons of the gas giants is silly .... robots could function in those extreme conditions and all that would be lost would be cash in case of disaster.

Cash is the key---the government has no interest in funding even Moon exploration, even to counter China, because we can just nuke China if it comes to that. The military is more about absorbing tax dollars and having strong pieces to play in the geopolitical chess game--- we offer support, protection, weapons, etc. to other countries in exchange for resource control, and use other countries as proxy battlegrounds so people in the US never have to actually see the hardships of war. If people in the US had to actually suffer, we'd see some changes in a hurry, but so long as we fight far from home .... meh.

The military sees no particular benefit to trying to "conquer" the Moon. Possibly, if outright warfare slows down enough on Earth, the military---which has to waste a lot of material to justify even more material, most of which is never used ..... might start selling the idea of Space Security, but it will take a long publicity program to convince voters that they are in danger from space. It is really easy to sell people on the fear of foreigners with bombs, because we have seen that. Chinese space rocks---a harder sell.

Anyway ... you'd like to see the species survive. I want to see the species improve. I don't think we have earned the right to spread to other worlds. The fact that we have been so stupid about space exploration is both proof that we are not worthy and the reason we are not ready---and if the only way we can get there is to kill more people who don't live within some imaginary borders ... likely we will never make it and I hope we don't.

I have interviewed several people who have been tortured because of their meditation practices. I meet people every weekend who would happily jail people for their sexuality, faith, or nation of origin ... or simply because of differing political notions. There are a lot of very good people, but there are a lot of people with the brains of children---childish, not childlike---, and there are people who willingly exploit that willful ignorance.

Shoot, there are people who really think the Earth is flat, and 6,000 years old. I am glad they are free to think that ... but .... wow.

7,616 Posts
I was just thinking about how many holiday picnics & reunions I’ve missed over the years, by choosing to work in the tourism/hospitality field.

My father-in-law and his twin brother and their entire Italian family celebrate their birthday with an Italian festival type picnic which last two days over this holiday weekend.
I love Italian food and it kills me to miss out on it each year.

Deranged Touring Cyclist
5,976 Posts
The caption said this isn't all of the bikes left behind at Burning Man.
View attachment 55318
Such a waste!
I have seen similar assertions in the past and hope they are wrong while suspecting that they are not. Seems like a wonderful opportunity for a nonprofit or used bike shop with a truck, trailer, and some time. I imagine there are some pretty sweet rides in all that, and more than a few capable of being combined to become the same. Lots of decent components, lots more crappy ones, a few gems. Still, it's not cool to just leave stuff out to rot like this.
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