Spaceflight

"What would happen if...?" has always been a staple of Science Fiction. What do you wonder about?

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ScottSF
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Post by ScottSF »

How about Educating the poor instead of starving them. It's a proven fact that when the level of education in a community goes up, the birth rate goes down. I'm a big believer in reproductive education for everyone, something many people in the Christian community in my country often try to oppose.

I let go of the Bible when I learned enough history to know that Christianity is only one religion among many and enough science to know that plenty of stuff in that book just isn't true and to me represents a human contrivance. The problem of stewardship of the earth will work itself out. Humans have reached a point beyond survival where we are out of equilibrium with the environment. If we don't work it out lots of folks will die until equilibrium is reached. I think we should populate space, just because there is so much we can learn out there.
Time flies like an Arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
-Groucho Marx

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Post by ScottSF »

If God didn't want us to explore space, she wouldn't have made us such great tool makers... if she exists, that is :p

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New Mexico Spaceport Gets State Go-ahead.
16 February 2006

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico – New Mexico lawmakers agreed today to proceed on a three-year commitment of funds to build a regional spaceport, designed to support commercial rocket launchings, including passenger-carrying suborbital vehicles.

"Our view of this is all systems go for the spaceport," said New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Rick Homans, also Chairman of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority in nearby Santa Fe.

"This sends out a message loud and clear that New Mexico is setting out on this bold plan," Homans told reporters in a telephone briefing. "This is real and we're moving forward on this."

Legislative go-ahead...

The New Mexico legislature offered broad, bipartisan support for the spaceport, Homans said, despite early skepticism in some political quarters regarding the project.

Specific actions taken by the legislature included authorizing a $100 million in capital outlay over fiscal years 2007, 2008, and 2009 towards the spaceport. "That is a financial commitment from the state. There's no need to go back for any other approvals in terms of getting money authorized every year," Homans added.

There are several conditions put upon the expenditure of the money, such as successfully obtaining a spaceport license from the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) commercial space transportation office.

Also, state lawmakers want official cost estimates that certify the spaceport can be built at or below a projected $225 million price tag, Homans said.

Request for proposals...

Homans said that as a single voice the New Mexico Spaceport Authority will now proceed immediately in issuing next month a request for proposals to scope out the architecture and engineering needs to build the spaceport.

By mid-2006, a selected architecture and engineering firm will be fully engaged, with spaceport specifications and cost estimates to be complete by year's end, Homans said.

Then, by the first quarter of 2007, construction bids are to be issued, pending the spaceport license approval by the FAA, Homans explained.

The spaceport site is approximately 27 square miles of open, generally level, range land that can be found 45 miles north of Las Cruces and 30 miles east of Truth or Consequences [map]. This site was picked for its low population density, uncongested airspace, and high elevation.

Homans also noted that a March 27 suborbital rocket launch by UP Aerospace from the spaceport property is being delayed until mid-May. The New Mexico Spaceport Authority and the rocket group, he said, have agreed to hold off on that flight in order to assure that high-quality data can be obtained from the launch – information to be utilized in the FAA spaceport license application.

Home base...

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has strongly backed the New Mexico spaceport effort, including the landing of the annual X Prize Cup in the state.

Last December, Richardson and Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Companies announced a partnership to build the world's first commercial spaceport. Virgin Galactic will locate its world headquarters and mission control for its personal spaceflight business at the spaceport.

One of the first "good news" calls Homans plans to make is contacting Virgin Galactic, based in London, England. That communication, he added, will inform them that "New Mexico is moving forward with the spaceport and with a future home base for them."

Last month, Richardson announced that Rocket Racing League, an aerospace entertainment organization that is developing the nascent market for low-altitude rocket-powered aircraft racing, will bring its world headquarters to New Mexico. That activity is to be inaugurated later this year at the X Prize Cup festivities in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

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Virgin Galactic Sets Deal With New Mexico Spaceport
13 December 2005

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space travel company has ironed out an agreement to utilize a futuristic spaceport to be built in New Mexico, with first flights of a suborbital spaceliner now planned in late 2008, early 2009.

Details of the agreement were discussed today in a press event called by Virgin Galactic and held at The Science Museum’s Alien Exhibition hall in London, England.

According to an Associated Press (AP) account of today’s press event, Branson has worked a deal with New Mexico that involves a 20-year lease on the spaceport, a facility that is price tagged at $225 million to build.

Virgin would make yearly payments of $1 million for the first five years, putting in more money in following years to cover the cost of the project by the end of the lease, the AP reported.

New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Rick Homans said at the London press briefing that funding to build the state’s spaceport—following Environmental Impact Statement approval and a governmental licensing of the spaceport—would come from a mix of local, state and federal sources.

Five spaceship fleet...

Earlier this year, Branson joined forces with aerospace designer, Burt Rutan, to create The Spaceship Company. The joint venture has been formed to build a commercial suborbital craft patterned after SpaceShipOne and to be constructed by Rutan and his team at Scaled Composites in Mojave, California.

It was SpaceShipOne that repeatedly flew to the edge of space last year, snagging the $10 million Ansari X Prize in the process. Along with a SpaceShipTwo, a huge carrier craft to haul the rocket plane to high altitude is also being fabricated.

Virgin Galactic has placed an order for five of the spaceships, expected to be delivered sometime within the next couple of years.

On Wednesday, Branson is slated to join New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to “make an important economic development announcement regarding the Earth’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport for the personal spaceflight industry in New Mexico,” according to a news advisory issued by the New Mexico Economic Development office.

Later in the day, following the Branson and Richardson press event in Santa Fe, spaceport officials and Branson will gather at the future spaceport site, off Exit 32 from Interstate 25. That’s where the Southwestern Regional Spaceport in Upham, New Mexico is to be built.

Upham is roughly 45 miles north of Las Cruces and 30 miles east of Truth or Consequences. The now barren stretch of land that will become the spaceport covers some 27 square miles, having a north-south configuration.

If given a governmental go-ahead, the New Mexico spaceport would join a list of approved spaceports.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Office of the Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation (AST) has licensed five spaceports in the United States: California Spaceport at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Spaceport Florida at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Virginia Space Flight Center at Wallops Island, Kodiak Launch Complex on Kodiak Island, Alaska, and Mojave Airport in California.

Eyeing New Mexico...

When word began to spread last week that Branson was “eyeing” New Mexico’s spaceport as a departure point for public space travel, little did anybody know how prophetic that term would be.

At a Virgin Galactic press conference today, the commercial spaceline firm unveiled a new logo design that will feature the iris of Branson.

The logo concept comes from Philippe Starck, in conjunction with a design agency, GBH Design Ltd.

Starck is a founder astronaut for one of the first hundred commercial seats onboard Virgin Galactic’s suborbital spaceliner.

In displaying the logo concept, Branson said: “I believe it represents all those who will watch and be a part of the growth of this amazing new commercial aviation sector. Whether they are six or sixty, all will see and believe that a new chapter in the story of space flight has begun.”

Mark Bonner, Creative Director at GBH Design Ltd, added: “Our aim is not just to create something that represents the opportunity for an ordinary person to travel into space and to look back at the planet where we all live, but also to represent the incredible spirit of human endeavor that continues to push us all forward”.

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Post by omnituton »

The simple truth is, however, that animals are not meant to outstrip their food supply. In nature, whenever food is insufficient to support the population, enough of the population dies off that there is enough for everyone. Human compassion is the only problem in our population.


Why are animals not meant to outstrip their food supply?...they either do so or they do not. ‘Meant’, ‘ought’, ’should or should not’ simply do not enter the equation. Indeed, what is the implied ' unnaturalness ' of human existence on this planet? Human beings do what comes natural for human beings – quite successfully I might add. Long may we continue and improve.

I don't think a discussion on evolution theory is warranted here (in a thread which is ostensibly about space travel) but it’s worth pointing out that laws of evolution (if such things exist) do not need a helping hand from mankind - particularly in terms of culling its own population. There are names for this practice, which have little or nothing to do with evolution.

As for not feeding the poor? Why not? Poverty is not a so called 'natural' state of the less adapted members of the species but is rather the artificial result of various humanly conceived and implemented theories of distribution...i.e. economics. Perhaps we should refrain from feeding economists? In the interests of ‘natural’ evolution of course…

Thankfully (and luckily for economists), humankind has ‘naturally’ developed wonderful adaptations that allow it to overcome a myriad of survival obstacles. These adaptations are namely - empathy, fellow feeling and yes, compassion. I'm happy to see that at very least compassion has been identified as a uniquely human trait, but the general thrust of the argument would then seem to suggest that Humankind would be far better off if we became other than human...What exactly is it we would be sending into the cosmos? and should we mere ‘humans’ care?

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Post by Ionaecius »

:smt041
Applause for Omnituton!

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by Chuffy »

Alaskamatt17 wrote:So, when do you all think we'll get to Mars? And after that how long do you think it'll be 'til we can leave the solar system?

Personally, I'm hoping it's soon. Within the next fifty years, perhaps. I'd sure like to be able to see Earth from space before I die.


Voyager 1 and 2 are only just now leaving our solar system. They have been travelling away from Earth for nearly 30 years and are currently doing about 60,000 kph. I wouldn't hold your breath on travel out of our solar system any time soon, or even any time later.

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