Re: Look Forward Florida

Message posted by Mark Lincoln on July 23, 2011 at 14:51:47 PST:

I don't think Americans are necessarily out of manned space flight. The government is getting out of transporting men to LEO, but there are some very promising business projects going on.

We have a very long tradition in this country of Government developing what government can best develop and encouraging/subsidizing/protecting the expansion of related or subsequent commercial activity.

Having walked the Eire Canal tow path and New York Central RR tracks on either side of a very small town as a child makes one aware of the reality of American history as opposed to the mythology.

In a technology curiously related to space flight dating to the mid-20th century, a visitor to the Off Shore Technology Conference in Houston is little aware that the astounding ability to perform deep sea exploration, construction and industrial operations, was a highly classified USN subsidized program (Deep Submergence) only 40 years ago. Now it is a thriving industry outshining what the Navy once did in secret and for a much more reasonable cost. Industry could never have afforded the up-front money for the two decades it took to develop the technology. Uncle Sam could and did. Uncle Sam could never accomplish the economy of scale and diversity of challenges and developments that has led to a robust industry.

If there is any real need for manned space flight industry will provide the solution now that the long-term research, development and proving have been done by NASA.

We have some immense technological problems that need practical research, development and implementation. Ever notice how the destruction of NATO tankers in Pakistan has created a frantic effort by the DoD to develop renewable power sources? Or how the Air Force and Navy both have almost crash programs to develop bio-fuels to cope with the implications of the Hubbert Peak Theory which has been pretty well proven by rates of pumping and discovery over the last two decades?

I would have wished for nothing more than to ride the Pan Am Orion to that lovely 2001 space station with the picture windows and thence to the moon.

Pan Am is gone now, it could not survive the elimination of the government protection and subsidies that created it when air travel was much more a dream than reality. Now the vast majority of Americans have flow Air Sardine's cattle cars at an affordable price.

All that is missing is the romance and glamor that attended air travel 50 years ago. (sigh)

The 2001 dream has gone the same way, dispersed by what was really possible, and replaced by reality. We have the clunky, junky looking ISS able to sustain a few, and a great view from the dome. . . .

Which is pretty good considering Tsiolkovsky's rocket equation, achievable specific impulses, and modern materials.

In Reply to: Re: Look up Florida posted by Andre' M. Dall'au on July 23, 2011 at 6:04:49 PST:


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