Re: OT - Last Flight Out

Message posted by Mark Lincoln on July 09, 2011 at 9:44:12 PST:

I listened to Alan Shepard's launch. Watched Glenn and most of the Mercury flights on TV. Saw Gemini and Apollo shots. I was a big supporter of manned space flight. had we been more oriented towards making it a practical endeavor in the 1960s instead of a public relations stunt things might have gone a bit differently. Engineering reality overtook the concept long ago and it now remains largely a stunt for public relations. By the late 1970s the Soviets had figured out what the USA realized a decade before. They actually flew some manned recce missions and discovered that unmanned craft did better work for far less money. Something we realized before we actually flew Blue Gemini/MOL. The cost and limitations imposed by human occupants which once seemed necessary to do credible science and technological research in space were long ago rendered ridiculous by technology. The Apollo Telescope Mount was grossly inferior in results to the Hubble.

Just as UAVs do what the SR-71 once did cheaper and better, manned space flight has been rendered obsolete buy the progress of 50 years.

We never needed to send an astronomer to space to make excellent observations. We never needed to send spies into orbit to photograph the earth. We didn't need to send Van Allen to find the radiation belts.

It was an amazing dream, that seemed necessary and inevitable in the 1950s and '60s. As did the idea that airplanes would go ever higher and faster.

Airplanes reached their maximum altitude and velocity in the mid-1960s. By 1969 man had flown to the moon. There has been no practical reason to do either for a long time.

Airliners today fly slower than they did in 1962, and so do fighters and bombers. . .

We defined the PRACTICAL limits of aircraft performance 50 years ago. We spent the last 30 years proving that there was no practical need for manned space flight.

In Reply to: Re: OT - Last Flight Out posted by Andre' M. Dall'au on July 09, 2011 at 7:21:40 PST:


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