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  1. #1
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    Neil deGrasse Tyson on Innovation, Education, Economics, Politics

    The development of space isn't about exploration. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella didn't sponsor Columbus so that he could go exploring. They wanted him to find a trade route to the east and to claim undiscovered lands for Spain. Columbus was an explorer, but the people who wrote the check had other motives.

    If we rely on government to continue its snail paced investment in the development of space transportation, and to restrict private development in innovative fields, our economy and our education system will continue to founder. Increasing the rate of space transportation to a point where we can see the results of our work will cause a natural interest in innovation, and stimulate a desire for education and economic development in related fields, much as it did in the 60's.

    The Dept of Ed is bigger than NASA. It has ruined our education system. Putting some DOE money into the development of space transportation and economic development of the solar system will cause students to compete for educations with backgrounds in math and science. Government won't have to step in and put bandaids on a failing methodology.

    Instead of government stepping into everything, burying people under the bureaucracy of the bandaid mentality, and destroying the attitudes of leaders and innovators, a practical application of space development can be one of the methods by which we once again look to the future with a sense of hope and accomplishment.

    Before you comment on this, see the interview. The above remarks only present a glimpse of what Dr. Tyson talks about.

    http://spaceref.com/event/28th-natio...symposium.html

    This is a direct link to the video:
    http://vimeo.com/40658876
    .
    Last edited by Space Racer; 05-20-2012 at 04:18 PM.
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  2. #2
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    I agree completely...Sure gov't stifles everything it touches. Space X , a private company, just docked with the ISS. Whether profit or exploration is the motive is irrelevant. As long as it happens. Profit is not a 4 letter word. The govt has ruined the schools, as well as everything else it touches, like the opposite of the Midas touch.
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  3. #3
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    http://www.americaspace.org/?p=21049#more-21049

    I don't agree with everything Dr. Tyson says, but his heart is in the right place, and he makes a lot of sense when he talks about space tech leading the way.
    Vacuum Technology:
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    CRAPP = Contamination Resulting in Additional Partial Pressure.

    Change your vacuum pump oil now.

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  4. #4
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    China's new space economy is ready to blast off:
    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/busines...t_15510049.htm
    Vacuum Technology:
    CRUD = Contamination Resulting in Undesirable Deposits.
    CRAPP = Contamination Resulting in Additional Partial Pressure.

    Change your vacuum pump oil now.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tunnel_rat View Post
    I agree completely...Sure gov't stifles everything it touches. Space X , a private company, just docked with the ISS. Whether profit or exploration is the motive is irrelevant. As long as it happens. Profit is not a 4 letter word. The govt has ruined the schools, as well as everything else it touches, like the opposite of the Midas touch.
    Yeah but who paid for the trip, government? If it was so profitable going into space there would be private flights going up every day. Government stopping them? Heck the Cayman Islands would probably give them the green light. What can we get up there that would not cost us less here? They talked about perfect ball bearings from a factory in space since the effects of gravity would not distort the manufacturing. See many perfect ball bearings around? The need for them does not justify the cost.

    Getting minerals from space? Cheaper to pull it out of the rock here on Earth. It just costs too much energy to make round trips off this rock to justify most endeavors. When the cost per pound comes down you will see private money getting in the game. The whole idea is profit and it aint there yet.
    Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference. —Mark Twain

  6. #6
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    Vacuum Technology:
    CRUD = Contamination Resulting in Undesirable Deposits.
    CRAPP = Contamination Resulting in Additional Partial Pressure.

    Change your vacuum pump oil now.

    Test. Testing, 1,2,3.

  7. #7
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    X Prize Foundation drives innovation:

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/20...diamandis/all/

    Greenwald: When did you realize that the X Prize could be a series of challenges that address a variety of other problems?

    Diamandis: I saw that it was an incredibly powerful engine for innovation. The $10 million Ansari X Prize drove $100 million in investment by the competitors. It resulted in 26 designs from seven companies. SpaceShipOne was inducted into the Smithsonian, and it’s hanging in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, right above Apollo 11, right next to Spirit of St. Louis.

    At that point, we had to decide: Do we declare success and shut down because we’re out of money, or do we turn what we’ve learned into a platform for creating more breakthroughs? I was invited to speak at Google, and afterward a guy in a backpack and T-shirt walked up and said, “I’m Larry Page. Let’s have lunch.” He funded the foundation to look at other areas, and the scope of the X Prize was broadened to address more of humanity’s grand challenges in exploration, including space and oceans, life sciences, education, global development, energy, and the environment.
    Greenwald: Could anything derail us from this path?

    Diamandis: Yes: the risk aversion we’ve developed as a society. Lawyers have ubiquitous power. If someone is always to blame, if every time something goes wrong someone has to be punished, people quickly stop taking risks. Without risks, there can’t be breakthroughs. I got this from Internet law expert Jonathan Zittrain: We’ve gone from a society where if something wasn’t prohibited then it was legal to a society where if something isn’t explicitly permitted it’s illegal. In the early days of aviation, you could do anything you wanted as long as it wasn’t illegal. Now the laws are so extensive that they say, “Show me where it’s allowed.”
    Greenwald: It sounds like being told no only energizes you.

    Diamandis: I have the general philosophy of creating the future you want to see. Years ago I first saw a poster of Murphy’s law: If anything can go wrong, it will. That’s ridiculous. So I wrote a set of alternatives. I call them Peter’s laws: If anything can go wrong, fix it. “No” means begin again one level higher. Do it by the book, but be the author.
    Greenwald: Your most recent enterprise, Planetary Resources, aims to mine asteroids. That’s bound to test legal limits on the space frontier.

    Diamandis: We’re working with the US government to define regulations that allow commercial exploitation of asteroids. Unlike oil reserves or even the oceans, which are limited, resources in space are infinite. Anyone who wants will have access to them, so everyone benefits when a company like this succeeds.

    Greenwald: What resources are you after?

    Diamandis: Asteroids called carbonaceous chondrites, also known as dirty ice balls, are up to 20 percent water. You can use solar energy to break up water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, which is rocket fuel, so you can create filling stations for deep space operations or oxygen and water for human consumption. Launching water beyond Earth orbit costs $20,000 per kilogram using the lowest-cost launch vehicle, so you save a lot by mining it in space. We’ll also be looking for what I call strategic metals. Another category of asteroid is rich in platinum-group metals such as palladium and osmium, which are used in medical devices, computer hard disks, LCD screens, and other electronics. They’re rare on Earth, but not in space.

    Greenwald: NASA talks about spending $1 billion on a single asteroid mission. How can you mine asteroids cost-effectively?

    Diamandis: Our goal is to bring down the cost of deep-space satellites for doing the imaging, remote sensing, and reconnaissance by a factor of 100. We can do it by reinventing how we design, build, test, and operate these systems. That’s where exponential technologies come in: Robotics, artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, and new materials will make it possible.
    Vacuum Technology:
    CRUD = Contamination Resulting in Undesirable Deposits.
    CRAPP = Contamination Resulting in Additional Partial Pressure.

    Change your vacuum pump oil now.

    Test. Testing, 1,2,3.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by printer2 View Post
    Yeah but who paid for the trip, government? If it was so profitable going into space there would be private flights going up every day. Government stopping them? Heck the Cayman Islands would probably give them the green light. What can we get up there that would not cost us less here? They talked about perfect ball bearings from a factory in space since the effects of gravity would not distort the manufacturing. See many perfect ball bearings around? The need for them does not justify the cost.

    Getting minerals from space? Cheaper to pull it out of the rock here on Earth. It just costs too much energy to make round trips off this rock to justify most endeavors. When the cost per pound comes down you will see private money getting in the game. The whole idea is profit and it aint there yet.
    Private space companies have been around for a while, and they have been stealing market share from NASA. For example, Arianespace, a company formed in 1980, has competed with NASA for satellite launch business, and has gotten to the point where it now holds more than 50 percent of the world's business for launching satellites to orbit.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arianespace

    But in the US, the government has been willing to pay ten times what it costs private enterprise to accomplish the same tasks, so private companies take the money and run. Unfortunately, without the advantage of competition, we have complacently come to believe that NASA's large expenditures should be the norm.

    Now that cash is tight, and technology and economies of scale have reduced a few obstacles, the curtain has been pulled away, the blustering wizard exposed, and private space companies are popping up like weeds.
    Last edited by Space Racer; 07-14-2012 at 02:04 PM.
    Vacuum Technology:
    CRUD = Contamination Resulting in Undesirable Deposits.
    CRAPP = Contamination Resulting in Additional Partial Pressure.

    Change your vacuum pump oil now.

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  9. #9
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    How the Lunar X Prize Is a Preview of the New Space Age

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/scie...e-age-10624613
    Vacuum Technology:
    CRUD = Contamination Resulting in Undesirable Deposits.
    CRAPP = Contamination Resulting in Additional Partial Pressure.

    Change your vacuum pump oil now.

    Test. Testing, 1,2,3.

  10. #10
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    Their View: Space pioneers have shifted from public to private sectors
    By Andrew Follett
    Posted: 07/15/2012 07:13:17 AM MDT

    On July 20, 1969, two men landed on the moon. At the time, many thought this "one small step" marked the beginning of a new Age of Exploration.

    Breathtaking opportunities for all mankind were within reach. Today, NASA cannot put men into space. The agency's troubled Constellation program, meant to replace the Space Shuttle fleet, was canceled after billions was spent. What happened to the American dream of human space exploration?

    Put simply, government happened. To beat the Soviets to the moon, it created a bureaucracy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which quickly devolved into a jobs program to bring home the space bacon. NASA lacked incentive to pursue its primary mission of exploration and scientific inquiry. The United States today lacks manned spaceflight capability for the first time since 1961. How can we dream of the stars without the iconic shuttles?

    SpaceX, the brainchild of PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, has answered this question with its Falcon 9/Dragon space launch system. The Dragon capsule recently made headlines as the first private craft to deliver cargo to the International Space Station. Each Falcon 9 launch costs around $54 million. If the Space Shuttle were around today, it would cost more than $1.6 billion per launch. It is hard to imagine a better example of the private sector's amazing ability to out-compete government bureaucracy. One shuttle launch could pay for 29 SpaceX launches, and leave $34 million to spare.

    Unfortunately, the government has been going in the opposite direction. Under President Obama's new NASA budget, money is shifted from the successful parts of NASA, like its robotic exploration program, to areas which produce nothing tangible, such as its environmental sciences program. Obama's budget manages to cut every part of NASA that actually works, including planetary science programs, technological development programs, and many important future Mars missions - without saving any money! As none other than Neil Armstrong, who is rarely outspoken, puts it, NASA is basically doomed to yet another decade of doing nothing in space.

    NASA has actually been reduced to holding bake sales to try to convince lawmakers to save these programs. Unfortunately for the agency, it doesn't have a strong case. Estimates put the cost of the now-cancelled Constellation program at $230 billion. The original cost estimates for the George H. W. Bush era Space Exploration Initiative, projected to stretch across three decades, typically fell in the range of $400 to $500 billion. Contrast that with the $300 million spent by SpaceX to develop the Falcon 9 in a little over four years, and the difference between government and private enterprise becomes clear.

    Perhaps the greatest triumph of private spaceflight was achieved by aviation pioneer Burt Rutan in 2004, when his company, Scaled Composites, put a live human crew in orbit with its innovative vehicle, Space Ship One. For its feat, the Space Ship One team won the Ansari X Prize, which is awarded by the nonprofit X Prize Foundation.

    The X Prize offers a useful example on how to tap the immense power of free enterprise to put America at the forefront of space flight again - all while cutting costs. Interestingly, Newt Gingrich made a similar proposal when he was Speaker of the House. Essentially, he wanted to create a $10 billion prize to be awarded to the first private entity to land a human on Mars. While private funding for such a prize would be ideal, a federal prize would be a great value if NASA wants continue their role in space travel.

    The prize wouldn't be paid out until the mission was complete, so the opinions of politicians about the feasibility of a Mars mission would matter less than the willingness of entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk and Burt Rutan to accept the risk of pursuing such an award. A system based on a fixed prize would end government cost overruns and waste.

    It is a simple fact that people spend their own money more intelligently than that of others. Private American space firms are currently pursuing accomplishments beyond those of SpaceX, and more advanced and ambitious than the entire government space programs of China and the European Union. Bigelow Aerospace, for example, has created an expandable hotel in space and launched two component units into orbit. It is now possible to buy a ticket for a suborbital spaceflight today with Virgin Galactic. Mars One is even planning a private Mars mission by 2023, decades ahead of NASA's schedule. The spirit of innovation and ingenuity that drove the early Apollo missions never died - it simply took root in the private sector. The new Age of Exploration, a competitive, profit-driven space race against the limits of human imagination, is only just beginning.

    http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces...ed-from-public
    Last edited by Space Racer; 07-20-2012 at 08:03 PM.
    Vacuum Technology:
    CRUD = Contamination Resulting in Undesirable Deposits.
    CRAPP = Contamination Resulting in Additional Partial Pressure.

    Change your vacuum pump oil now.

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  11. #11
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    Elon Musk on innovation and going to Mars:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VInhq...eature=related
    Vacuum Technology:
    CRUD = Contamination Resulting in Undesirable Deposits.
    CRAPP = Contamination Resulting in Additional Partial Pressure.

    Change your vacuum pump oil now.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Space Racer View Post
    Elon Musk on innovation and going to Mars:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VInhq...eature=related
    We have pretty much determined that Mars is an uninhabitable rock. Why bother? Is there some other hope?
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  13. #13
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    It's not uninhabitable. It's less hospitable.

    Musk and others plan to colonize Mars.
    Vacuum Technology:
    CRUD = Contamination Resulting in Undesirable Deposits.
    CRAPP = Contamination Resulting in Additional Partial Pressure.

    Change your vacuum pump oil now.

    Test. Testing, 1,2,3.

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