Jan 3, 2013

Explaining Space Travel

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, biological, defense, engineering, ethics, existential risks, finance, geopolitics, habitats, military, nuclear, nuclear energy, space, transparency

I recently posted this on the only two other sites that will allow me to express my opinions;

I see the problem as one of self similarity; trying to go cheap being the downfall of all these schemes to work around human physiology.

When I first became interested in space travel several years ago I would comment on a couple blogs and find myself constantly arguing with private space proponents– and saying over and over again, “there is no cheap.” I was finally excommunicated from that bunch and banned from posting. They would start calling me an idiot and other insults and when I tried to return the favor the moderator would block my replies. The person who runs those two sites works for a firm promoting space tourism– go figure.

The problem is that while the aerospace industry made some money off the space program as an outgrowth of the military industrial complex, it soon became clear that spaceships are hard money– they have to work. The example of this is the outrage over the Apollo 1 fire and subsequent oversight of contractors– a practice which disappeared after Apollo and resulted in the Space Shuttle being such a poor design. A portion of the shuttle development money reportedly went under the table into the B-1 bomber program; how much we will never know. Swing wings are not easy to build which is why you do not see it anymore; cuts into profits.

The easy money of cold war toys has since defeated any move by industry to take up the cause of space exploration. No easy money in spaceships. People who want something for nothing rarely end up with anything worth anything. Trying to find cheap ways around furnishing explorers with the physcial conditions human beings evolved in is going to fail. On the other hand if we start with a baseline of one gravity and Earth level radiation we are bound to succeed.

The engineering solutions to this baseline requirement are as I have already detailed; a tether for gravity and a massive moonwater shield with bomb propulsion. That is EXACTLY how to do it and I do not see any one else offering anything else that will work- just waffling and spewing about R&D.
We have been doing R&D for over half a century. It is a reason to go that is supposedly lacking.

When that crater in Mexico was discovered in 1980 the cold war was reaching it’s crescendo and the massive extinction it caused was overshadowed by the threat of nuclear weapons. Impact defense is still the only path to all that DOD money for a Moon base.

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