Commercialization of Space travel


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So after decades of bureaucratic shenanigans with NASA, it seems that technology is finally making private commercial space travel a reality.

>link<

This makes me happy, as it is about the only way that we can move on to the next phase of space travel. Hopefully the lure of zero-G manufacturing/ hard vacuum manufacturing/easily accesable solar energy/nigh-infinite raw materials will draw entrepeneurs into a real Space Race rather than the Plant the Flag game the US and USSR played in the Sixties.

So, anyone have a sense what will occur first? orbiting factories and living areas? Bases on the Moon/Mars? Mining colonies among the asteroids?

Will we be able to adjust to space as a species? Or will long-term survival in space require some sort of genetic modification?

Will nanotechnology make space travel redundant? Or will humanity's thirst for exploration lead us outward and upward?


Patrick Curtin wrote:

So after decades of bureaucratic shenanigans with NASA, it seems that technology is finally making private commercial space travel a reality.

>link<

This makes me happy, as it is about the only way that we can move on to the next phase of space travel. Hopefully the lure of zero-G manufacturing/ hard vacuum manufacturing/easily accesable solar energy/nigh-infinite raw materials will draw entrepeneurs into a real Space Race rather than the Plant the Flag game the US and USSR played in the Sixties.

So, anyone have a sense what will occur first? orbiting factories and living areas? Bases on the Moon/Mars? Mining colonies among the asteroids?

Will we be able to adjust to space as a species? Or will long-term survival in space require some sort of genetic modification?

Will nanotechnology make space travel redundant? Or will humanity's thirst for exploration lead us outward and upward?

Plays UC Gundam music in the background with an eye towards throwing out these pathetic calendars

Please God, in the future, let there be robots.


I predict Pr0n in Zero-G. Heard it here first, folks. ;)


Urizen wrote:
I predict Pr0n in Zero-G. Heard it here first, folks. ;)

votes for Urizen in 2012 election


Urizen wrote:
I predict Pr0n in Zero-G. Heard it here first, folks. ;)

If that's what it takes to get space travel going, then why not? It sure kick-started the Interwebz ...

The Exchange

Patrick Curtin wrote:

So after decades of bureaucratic shenanigans with NASA, it seems that technology is finally making private commercial space travel a reality.

>link<

This makes me happy, as it is about the only way that we can move on to the next phase of space travel. Hopefully the lure of zero-G manufacturing/ hard vacuum manufacturing/easily accesable solar energy/nigh-infinite raw materials will draw entrepeneurs into a real Space Race rather than the Plant the Flag game the US and USSR played in the Sixties.

So, anyone have a sense what will occur first? orbiting factories and living areas? Bases on the Moon/Mars? Mining colonies among the asteroids?

Will we be able to adjust to space as a species? Or will long-term survival in space require some sort of genetic modification?

Will nanotechnology make space travel redundant? Or will humanity's thirst for exploration lead us outward and upward?

It will still be a rice man's "game" for a bit. I think that when a viable new discovery comes to pass and we figuire out that we can and in fact could have had, peopele living and working outside the gravity well for sometime, then and only then will we finally see people working off planet. At that time I think it will hit a poitn of, "why did we not do this before" thinking and an explosion of different space based approaches will happen. Then the damn will break and we will expaned exponentially until an accident happens then everyone will slow down and think about what they are doing until it picks up steam again. I would guess 60 - 100 years.


Hopefully private interest in space travel will help move things along technology wise. We need to get to Mars so we can find the cure for cancer that Draculahid there.


Interesting.


Freehold DM wrote:
Urizen wrote:
I predict Pr0n in Zero-G. Heard it here first, folks. ;)
votes for Urizen in 2012 election

Heck, with ESPN planning to have a 3D cable subscription to launch before year's end, imagine the possibilties. You'll feel like you're sitting in front row at a Gallagher show. :P

As for my political future, that's be contingent on the public accepting a non-Christian platform. Maybe in 2112. <does an air guitar>


Urizen wrote:
As for my political future, that's be contingent on the public accepting a non-Christian platform. Maybe in 2112. <does an air guitar>

[Getty Lee]WE ARE THE PRIESTS. OF THE TEMPLE. OF URIZEN!

ALL THE GIFTS OF PR0N ARE HELD WITHIN OUR HARDDRIVES! [/Getty Lee]


Do you need a job as a political strategist? First stop, Iowa! Woodraven will give us free lodging. :P


Urizen wrote:
Do you need a job as a political strategist? First stop, Iowa! Woodraven will give us free lodging. :P

Sorry, I'll have to decline. I'd probably end up punching someone in the face, and then they'd have to put me down.

No one likes a rabid monkey ...


Patrick Curtin wrote:
Urizen wrote:
Do you need a job as a political strategist? First stop, Iowa! Woodraven will give us free lodging. :P

Sorry, I'll have to decline. I'd probably end up punching someone in the face, and then they'd have to put me down.

No one likes a rabid monkey ...

In that case, Secret Service, Blackwater Special Ops. <gets out pencil and jots notes>

Dark Archive

Prince That Howls wrote:
Hopefully private interest in space travel will help move things along technology wise. We need to get to Mars so we can find the cure for cancer that Draculahid there.

In space, it's always night.


Crimson Jester wrote:
I would guess 60 - 100 years.

I would guess at least that long. However, we just might be suprised. Or we might have a celestial accident (i.e. - an asteroid striking the Earth in a populated spot and killing a few 100 thousand to a few million.) and that might just kick start us into getting off or asses to do something in outer space.


Sharoth wrote:
Crimson Jester wrote:
I would guess 60 - 100 years.
I would guess at least that long. However, we just might be suprised. Or we might have a celestial accident (i.e. - an asteroid striking the Earth in a populated spot and killing a few 100 thousand to a few million.) and that might just kick start us into getting off or asses to do something in outer space.

Yes. We declare war, on space.


Earth First! We will strip mine the other planets later!


Sharoth wrote:
Crimson Jester wrote:
I would guess 60 - 100 years.
I would guess at least that long. However, we just might be surprised. Or we might have a celestial accident (i.e. - an asteroid striking the Earth in a populated spot and killing a few 100 thousand to a few million.) and that might just kick start us into getting off or asses to do something in outer space.

Well, according to Shadowrun, the Awakening is just around the corner. Maybe that'll do it.

P.S. Sharoth, you're supposed to still be asleep.

P.P.S. Lady GaGa is a Spike Baby.


So, when are we going to get our first Lunar Resort/Casino?


Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Sharoth wrote:
Crimson Jester wrote:
I would guess 60 - 100 years.
I would guess at least that long. However, we just might be surprised. Or we might have a celestial accident (i.e. - an asteroid striking the Earth in a populated spot and killing a few 100 thousand to a few million.) and that might just kick start us into getting off or asses to do something in outer space.

Well, according to Shadowrun, the Awakening is just around the corner. Maybe that'll do it.

P.S. Sharoth, you're supposed to still be asleep.

P.P.S. Lady GaGa is a Spike Baby.

I work 4 pm to midnight EST, Monday through Friday. I am on my normal schedule.


Sharoth wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:

Well, according to Shadowrun, the Awakening is just around the corner....

P.S. Sharoth, you're supposed to still be asleep.

I work 4 pm to midnight EST, Monday through Friday. I am on my normal schedule.

Oops, sorry: this schedule is what I meant. Aden & Lofwyr will be ticked you stole the spotlight by appearing early. :)

(Sorry for being obtuse.)


Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Sharoth wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:

Well, according to Shadowrun, the Awakening is just around the corner....

P.S. Sharoth, you're supposed to still be asleep.

I work 4 pm to midnight EST, Monday through Friday. I am on my normal schedule.

Oops, sorry: this schedule is what I meant. Aden & Lofwyr will be ticked you stole the spotlight by appearing early. :)

(Sorry for being obtuse.)

~crosses my arms and taps my foot~ Now, you know better than to reveal my secret. I just accidentally caught a trip with the Doctor and arrived a bit early.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

"WE ARE ALL HERE TO GO," a wise old man once told me, and I've never been able to forget it.


Erik Mona wrote:
"WE ARE ALL HERE TO GO," a wise old man once told me, and I've never been able to forget it.

Who was the old man?


David Fryer wrote:
Prince That Howls wrote:
Hopefully private interest in space travel will help move things along technology wise. We need to get to Mars so we can find the cure for cancer that Draculahid there.
In space, it's always night.

And day.


David Fryer wrote:
Prince That Howls wrote:
Hopefully private interest in space travel will help move things along technology wise. We need to get to Mars so we can find the cure for cancer that Draculahid there.
In space, it's always night.

Depends on how close you are to a star.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Patrick Curtin wrote:

So after decades of bureaucratic shenanigans with NASA, it seems that technology is finally making private commercial space travel a reality.

>link<

This makes me happy, as it is about the only way that we can move on to the next phase of space travel. Hopefully the lure of zero-G manufacturing/ hard vacuum manufacturing/easily accesable solar energy/nigh-infinite raw materials will draw entrepeneurs into a real Space Race rather than the Plant the Flag game the US and USSR played in the Sixties.

So, anyone have a sense what will occur first? orbiting factories and living areas? Bases on the Moon/Mars? Mining colonies among the asteroids?

Will we be able to adjust to space as a species? Or will long-term survival in space require some sort of genetic modification?

Will nanotechnology make space travel redundant? Or will humanity's thirst for exploration lead us outward and upward?

What may happen is ... nothing.

China is in serious danger of becoming an economic bubble (rivaling the US in 2006). If that is true, when it collapses the whole world will go into a Great Depression that will rival 1939 (the nightmare that Bernanki was, barely, able to avoid).

By the time that the world recovers from that, humanity may be suffering such serious problems from evironmental collapse/overpopulation/global warfare that space travel will be, at best, an afterthought.


Lord Fyre wrote:

What may happen is ... nothing.

China is in serious danger of becoming an economic bubble (rivaling the US in 2006). If that is true, when it collapses the whole world will go into a Great Depression that will rival 1939 (the nightmare that Bernanki was, barely, able to avoid).

By the time that the world recovers from that, humanity may be suffering such serious problems from evironmental collapse/overpopulation/global warfare that space travel will be, at best, an afterthought.

Well, so much for my attempt to inject a little hopefulness into the forum. Thank you Mary Sunshine! :P

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Patrick Curtin wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:

What may happen is ... nothing.

China is in serious danger of becoming an economic bubble (rivaling the US in 2006). If that is true, when it collapses the whole world will go into a Great Depression that will rival 1939 (the nightmare that Bernanki was, barely, able to avoid).

By the time that the world recovers from that, humanity may be suffering such serious problems from evironmental collapse/overpopulation/global warfare that space travel will be, at best, an afterthought.

Well, so much for my attempt to inject a little hopefulness into the forum. Thank you Mary Sunshine! :P

I am glad to do my part. ;P


Patrick Curtin wrote:
Thank you Mary Sunshine! :P

Why does everyone like my sister better than me?


Suzie Sunshine wrote:
Patrick Curtin wrote:
Thank you Mary Sunshine! :P
Why does everyone like my sister better than me?

She gives us money.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Patrick Curtin wrote:

So after decades of bureaucratic shenanigans with NASA, it seems that technology is finally making private commercial space travel a reality.

>link<

This makes me happy, as it is about the only way that we can move on to the next phase of space travel. Hopefully the lure of zero-G manufacturing/ hard vacuum manufacturing/easily accesable solar energy/nigh-infinite raw materials will draw entrepeneurs into a real Space Race rather than the Plant the Flag game the US and USSR played in the Sixties.

So far this isn't commercial space travel with a purpose. To date, only the following things have happened.

1. Rich folk pouring millions into the Russian Space Program so they can get a seat on a Soyuz out to the International Space Station, basically taking advantage of all the international goverment spending that's beeen done.

2. One shot pogo-stick suborbital stunts on "Spacelab One" The experiments that had been done on Skylab and the Shuttle proved that microgravity manufacturing (True Zero-G does not exist in Earth orbit) isn't the big boost it was thought it would be for manufacturing

What we've got so far are stunts plain and simple. Not real commercial travel, nor any particular promise of industrial development. So far eveything that's been done has been either riding on existing technology the (Soyuz) or a fairly easily acheivable stunt (Spacelab One) which hasn't had to deal with any of the real issues of getting to orbit and especially re-entry.

When real money starts taking the REAL issues of space travel then you can crow about the "success" of Private Enterprise.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tensor wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
"WE ARE ALL HERE TO GO," a wise old man once told me, and I've never been able to forget it.

Who was the old man?

Vic Wertz?


LazarX wrote:
When real money starts taking the REAL issues of space travel then you can crow about the "success" of Private Enterprise.

Umm, wasn't 'crowing', was just pointing out that SOMETHING was FINALLY happening vis-a-vis developing space travel. And yeah, what's been going on are baby steps, but that's how anything starts. All I asked was a few exploratory questions for the sake of debate. I am HOPEFULL that free enterprise propels more space exploration, since government has certainly not done a bang-up job so far.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Patrick Curtin wrote:
LazarX wrote:
When real money starts taking the REAL issues of space travel then you can crow about the "success" of Private Enterprise.

Umm, wasn't 'crowing', was just pointing out that SOMETHING was FINALLY happening vis-a-vis developing space travel. And yeah, what's been going on are baby steps, but that's how anything starts. All I asked was a few exploratory questions for the sake of debate. I am HOPEFULL that free enterprise propels more space exploration, since government has certainly not done a bang-up job so far.

I don't think that the "government" job has been fairly evaulated. Note that for the most part the equipment has been built, tested by private industry. and run in coordination with them as well. The problem with space travel is at this point there isn't a commercial appliation for manned space flight. The other pressing issue is that aside from beating the Russians to the moon, we haven't had a pressing need to send Humans into space, whereas unmanned flight has given us tremendous returns in both science and utility.

Free Enterprise requires a profit to be realised in short order for a venture. At this point the only profit has been in junkets for multi-billionaires and orbital visits have been heavily subsidized by the existing presence of government built spacecraft and the International Space Station. I'm not sure I'd even want to conceive the amount of advertising it would otherwise cost to pay for a manned mission to the Moon, much less to Mars.

Like it or not, the pioneering steps in manned flight are most likely going to be financed by the public as they have been throughout the history of space travel.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Patrick Curtin wrote:

So after decades of bureaucratic shenanigans with NASA, it seems that technology is finally making private commercial space travel a reality.

So, anyone have a sense what will occur first? orbiting factories and living areas? Bases on the Moon/Mars? Mining colonies among the asteroids?

Will we be able to adjust to space as a species? Or will long-term survival in space require some sort of genetic modification?

Will nanotechnology make space travel redundant? Or will humanity's thirst for exploration lead us outward and upward?

Quite frankly, I don't see anything happening beyond more limited junkets for the ultra-rich... stunts that don't really progress exploration at all.

Here's your lesson... exploration has always been driven by economics.. Columbus was sent to search for Gold, others were sent to find a route to the Indies to bypass the Porturgese stranglehold of the Cape of Good Hope. The American colonies were founded to provide resources for the countries that established them. Fact of the matter is that there really isn't anything out there that's going to address the economic, energy and resource needs of this planet. I don't see the economics driver of an expansion to space.


LazarX wrote:
Fact of the matter is that there really isn't anything out there that's going to address the economic, energy and resource needs of this planet. I don't see the economics driver of an expansion to space.

Really? The sun puts more energy out in one day than the human race uses in a year. The asteroid belt is basically a planet broken into easily-digestible chunks. Besides all this is the potential livingroom that places like the Moon and Mars affords an ever-more crowded planet. If those aren't economic drivers, I don't know what are ...

So yeah, 'rich man junkets' might be the first commercial intro into space, and the money the company makes from indulging these billionaires will hopefully spur more innovative R&D bringing the gateway travel price down from billionaires to millionaires, then thousandaires. When more opportunities present themselves as the technology improves, the people making money on 'junkets' will be positioned to capitalize on them.

Airplanes and cars were once thought of as 'rich man's toys', until they improved and the cost point came down. Now we can't think of life without them. The first commercial personal computers were around $5,000 to buy. Ditto.

Sending probes about is all well and good, but it will never spur any further human exploration. And we will eventually run out of resources here. We need people interested in gettting those resources.

The Exchange

Suzie Sunshine wrote:
Patrick Curtin wrote:
Thank you Mary Sunshine! :P
Why does everyone like my sister better than me?

She gives it up on the first date?


Patrick Curtin wrote:
LazarX wrote:
When real money starts taking the REAL issues of space travel then you can crow about the "success" of Private Enterprise.
Umm, wasn't 'crowing', was just pointing out that SOMETHING was FINALLY happening vis-a-vis developing space travel. And yeah, what's been going on are baby steps, but that's how anything starts. All I asked was a few exploratory questions for the sake of debate. I am HOPEFULL that free enterprise propels more space exploration, since government has certainly not done a bang-up job so far.

This is why I don't understand the argument that government health care will damage the private health care sector. I mean, yeah, that whole Post Office thing really beat down private delivery services like Fed Ex and UPS, but this is a completely different ballgame...


Shadowborn wrote:
This is why I don't understand the argument that government health care will damage the private health care sector. I mean, yeah, that whole Post Office thing really beat down private delivery services like Fed Ex and UPS, but this is a completely different ballgame...

If you are interested in talking about health care, here's a >thread< to necro. I refuse to talk about that crap anymore.


I'm still curious as to when we get a lunar Resort/Casino.


Patrick Curtin wrote:
Shadowborn wrote:
This is why I don't understand the argument that government health care will damage the private health care sector. I mean, yeah, that whole Post Office thing really beat down private delivery services like Fed Ex and UPS, but this is a completely different ballgame...
If you are interested in talking about health care, here's a >thread< to necro. I refuse to talk about that crap anymore.

Relax, Patrick. It was a joke.


Shadowborn wrote:
Patrick Curtin wrote:
Shadowborn wrote:
This is why I don't understand the argument that government health care will damage the private health care sector. I mean, yeah, that whole Post Office thing really beat down private delivery services like Fed Ex and UPS, but this is a completely different ballgame...
If you are interested in talking about health care, here's a >thread< to necro. I refuse to talk about that crap anymore.
Relax, Patrick. It was a joke.

Sorry dude, a bit on edge. My apologies for the excessive snark >.<


Not a problem.

The basic underlying sentiment there, on a more serious note, is that the private sector is nearly always more effective in general enterprise. I see space exploration in that category. However, the bottom line in private enterprise is always profit. So I can see all sorts of opportunity for exploitation in the future. I presume the boys and girls at NASA are perturbed because they don't like the thought of their idealism being corrupted by entrepreneurialism.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Shadowborn wrote:

Not a problem.

The basic underlying sentiment there, on a more serious note, is that the private sector is nearly always more effective in general enterprise. I see space exploration in that category. However, the bottom line in private enterprise is always profit. So I can see all sorts of opportunity for exploitation in the future. I presume the boys and girls at NASA are perturbed because they don't like the thought of their idealism being corrupted by entrepreneurialism.

One.. NASA is not an ivory tower of intellectuals, it's an existing product of a military industrial complex. (Originally it was intended to be folded into the Air Force but for propaganda reasons was ostensibly organised as a "civilian" operation, but to date for the overwhelming majority, only military men have commanded American space craft.) And there was nothing "idealistic" about the original mission of NASA which was to beat the Russians to the Moon during the hot years of the Cold War.

Two: NASA has involved private industry from the get go. Every piece of NASA hardware is built by private enterprise under goverment contract. Fact is the Private Enterprise era of space travel is essentially waiting for NASA to do all the hard work for them ahead of time in coming up with a technology that actually works for practical space travel, something that has not occured to date, the Space Shuttle being a compromised, flawed, and ultimately failed attempt.

Given that the post-Shuttle roadmap seems to be going back to an Apollo style way of doing things, I don't see us moving forward on practical space travel when returned to the model of throwing away your entire space craft after one use.


LazarX wrote:
And there was nothing "idealistic" about the original mission of NASA which was to beat the Russians to the Moon during the hot years of the Cold War.

Sure there was, if 'Russia blows' was one of their ideals.


As Patrick noted above there are vast resources available in space-the amount of solar energy output every second would far exceed the amount needed on earth at present, the resources of the moon, mars and asteroid belt are massive (during the mid-90s, I heard, although I don't have hard numbers to back this up, that the estimated value of the resources from one moderate-sized asteroid could have wiped out the US national debt), and once you get into space it allows for manufacturing of materials that would be impossible to produce on earth's surface, for a start. However, for exploration purposes (not settlement or other purposes like that) the robotic probes that NASA has sent out have done a superb job. Galileo, Pioneers 10 & 11, Voyagers 1 & 2, Hubble, Spirit and Opportunity have all exceeded (in several cases, far exceeded) initial expectations and chances are good the same will hold true for Cassini, New Horizons and other unmanned craft. So NASA should DEFINITELY keep doing the unmanned science work, while private industry can do more on the getting people into space, although at the moment there is still a fair amount of work to do. As far as access to orbit goes, for a while until the manned program has fully transitioned to the Aries/Orion system, the Soyuz will be the only presently ready orbital vehicle (Virgin Galactic, etc. are suborbital which won't be sufficient for longer term stays in space & planned orbital vehicles (such as the Dragon capsule from Elon Musk's SpaceX), are still in the testing phases, at best).

Paizo Employee Senior Software Developer

Erik Mona wrote:
"WE ARE ALL HERE TO GO," a wise old man once told me, and I've never been able to forget it.

But I don't wanna be takeout!

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Back in 86, I remember an essay in Science Magazine by Asimov, where he argued don't go to Mars. Go to the moon first, put a base there, then launch the Mars ship from the moon.


Matthew Morris wrote:
Back in 86, I remember an essay in Science Magazine by Asimov, where he argued don't go to Mars. Go to the moon first, put a base there, then launch the Mars ship from the moon.

That is actually a sensible idea given that the moons escape velocity is far lower than that of earth, allowing you to get by with much less fuel required to do so. Also you could take material from the moon (or for an even lower launch cost, a near earth asteroid) and launch it to the earth-moon or sun-earth lagrangian regions and set up permanent, spacebased colonies without having to even set foot on a planet or moon to establish a habitat. Some proposal for such are the Stanford torus and O'neill cylinder designs from the 1970s (and possibly other besides)

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