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Author Topic: Private venture to put man in space  (Read 2373 times)

drkev

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Private venture to put man in space
« on: 30/10/2003 23:17:56 »
Just out of curiosity why is this taking so long?

There must be enough organisations out there who are intersted and can raise the money.

Seriously, the costs involved cannot be that high. The technology is available and the money plentiful.

This puts doubt into my mind as to whether space travel has indeed been accomplished as there are only 3 agencies that claim to have achieved it. USA, Russia and China.

There are hundreds of private organisation that are trying to do this and 40 years after Man stepped on the moon they still haven't accomplished it.

Your thoughts on this???

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Kevin Fisher


 

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Re: Private venture to put man in space
« Reply #1 on: 31/10/2003 02:45:58 »
This is a topic I know a little about, though really very little.  It's only been 33 years.

There are lots of people who want to achieve space travel, but the money is not plentiful.  The costs really ARE astronomically high (pun intended).  And, the economic climate in industrialized countries now is very prohibitive for any venture that sinks a lot of capital and does not show a profit in less than five years.  No one can get there in five years.

The technology exists, but is not readily available.  What I mean by this is that the engineering talent it takes to achieve reliable, safe and relatively cheap space flight is extremely hard to come by, and is tied up in large companies like Boeing, LMSC, etc. or NASA.  Several companies are working toward space flight, and are finding that it is not as easy as it sounds.  The theory of space flight is fairly straightforward, the practice is not at all. I think I made a comment in another thread about college education and readiness for the real world.  College teaches engineers how to calculate the trajectories.  Real life teaches them Murphy's law and how badly the trajectories can be off.  After some years they learn to beat Murphy most of the time.

I have absolutely no doubt that space travel has been accomplished.  The astronauts really did walk on the moon.  However, I have serious doubts that anyone (including NASA) could put a person on the moon now or within five years.  

Our society has turned so risk averse that no one is able to take any risk now.  In the 1960's when NASA was going to the moon, the loss of a vehicle in a fiery crash was tolerable.  Even the loss of some crew was considered tolerable, as long as the deficiency was addressed.  Now, as the Columbia breakup shows, the loss of life is not tolerable.  We still don't know when a shuttle will fly again, but I doubt it will be within 18 months from now.

Another major factor is this:  The political climate is very different now than it was in the 1960s.  Now, there is no great political gain from space exploration.  Politically, it's not considered worth much risk.  And money comes from politics.  Even private ventures are sensitive to the political climate.

I don't want to be patient, but I have no choice right now.  If I could find a way to contribute and be on the first mission to Mars (or second or tenth) I'm ready to go.

I'll get off my soap box now, but count me in!


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John
 

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Re: Private venture to put man in space
« Reply #2 on: 31/10/2003 09:07:47 »
I just wanted to echo John's stance and to discuss the situation in China.

China finally got a guy into space - at the cost of several billion pounds. Yet it currently receives far less than that in economic subsidies from the rest of world - it is essentially on the student hardship fund.

If a student blew his access funds on clothes whilst refusing to pay the rent the landlord would be justifiably angry. So why are we financing China's space programme ?

Chris

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drkev

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Re: Private venture to put man in space
« Reply #3 on: 10/01/2006 14:19:47 »
I must be psychic because I predicted a private space mission 2 years before it happened!!!

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Kevin Fisher
 

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Re: Private venture to put man in space
« Reply #3 on: 10/01/2006 14:19:47 »

 

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