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Will space and globalisation save mankind from its woe's ?


Pat Gill

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Those of us with even a basic knowledge of physics know that every single one of our resource problems and many of mankind's other problems will be solved, along with the arrival of many wonderful new economic and social opportunities, just as soon as we become a spacefaring race.

Life for a european was utterly changed as soon as science began to given parity of esteem with religious philosophy and people such as Christopher Columbus began to explore beyond the known world of the time.

It occurs to me that something similar is afoot at this time in our history, globalisation and the communications revolution is beginning to replace nationalism, we have already begun to tentatively explore space and the concept of globalisation has moved beyond mere economics into almost every facet of our lives including science (perhaps science was the first globalisor) .

Yet the problem of ready and affordable access to space still remains, no matter how many times you do the sums, a rocket still needs to reach 17,000 mph in order to escape Earth's gravity and most of the costs of a space launch involves the chicken and egg situation of the rocket carrying enough fuel to reach escape velocity which means the rocket has to be bigger and so more fuel is..... , the cost of launching a payload into orbit has decreased since the 1960's but it is still a very expensive procedure.

Of course many solutions to this problem have been proposed and a few are being seriously researched and we can expect that within a few decades we might see the first space elevator beginning construction just as soon as the lads and lassies currently working on carbon nanotubes get the finger out and begin building or growing carbon nanotube cable longer than a few inches :p.

But as in everyday life, often its not the lads working on the big glamorous projects which keep the ball rolling, sometimes its the less ambitous but well thought out smaller step which hurries us to our destiny.

I especially like the 3D printer part of this project, thats real innovation.

Asteroid-mining 'FireFlys' will be ready for action by 2015, vows space firm

A second commercial venture to mine the near infinite resources of outer space has been started, and Deep Space Industries (DSI) is promising its spacecraft and 3D printers will allow successful mining operations within a decade.

The venture says that it will have its first class of 55lb (25kg) "FireFly" probes ready for action by 2015, hitching a ride on other commercial launches, and during their six-month missions will explore Near Earth Objects (NEO) for useful materials.

Gump explained that the probes wouldn't just be looking for metals, but also for liquids that can be broken down into oxygen, hydrogen and methane and used to refuel satellites once it has been brought back into the Earth's orbit, adding another revenue stream.
"It cost around $20,000 per kilo to get the fuel for a geosynchronous satellite into position, we're sure we can supply it more cheaply than that," he said. "If you can then extend the lives of these satellites, then operators will be able to save millions of dollars in costs."
Key to the success of the project will be DSI's patent-pending 3D printing technology, dubbed the Microgravity Foundry. He said..........................................

"We will only be visitors in space until we learn how to live off the land there," said DSI chairman and long-time space activist Rick Tumlinson in a statement.

"We are squarely focused on giving new generations the opportunity to change not only this world, but all the worlds of tomorrow. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

Read the entire article here
Asteroid-mining 'FireFlys' will be ready for action by 2015, vows space firm ? The Register


And its nice to know that real cutting edge R&D takes place in Ireland 2013
, nice one UCC, Moore's law safe for another while and it proves my point above about globalisation and the communications revolution perfectly.
 

harshreality

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Good thing this wasn't placed in the current affairs forum Pat because you are lookin wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy into the future boy!
 

DownTheyGo

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Good thing this wasn't placed in the current affairs forum Pat because you are lookin wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy into
the future boy!
But he's on the money in some sense.

It is only a matter of time before colonies are set up in far flung places where rich deposits of resources are located.

Granted, seismic exploration remains the quest but I'm confident in time (no idea how much time) a good deal of scarce resources will be found outside of planet earth.

Nothing on the scale of Prometheus however :)
 

cinnte

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The kind of space programs needed are many centuries in the future,what would we mine for, the cost of taking something back from space would be so expensive it would not be worth it,for me the whole thing is a no go,in the end with China,India etc needs for more energy, we will all have to do with less.Oil is by far the best source of energy available and when it slows thats it.
 

cinnte

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But he's on the money in some sense.

It is only a matter of time before colonies are set up in far flung places where rich deposits of resources are located.

Granted, seismic exploration remains the quest but I'm confident in time (no idea how much time) a good deal of scarce resources will be found outside of planet earth.

Nothing on the scale of Prometheus however :)
How do you take them back,and if you could they would burn on entry
 

Pat Gill

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Good thing this wasn't placed in the current affairs forum Pat because you are lookin wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy into the future boy!
harshreality,

I have just about come to terms with the fact a middleaged man, no matter how fit and handsome, like míse is not going to around to see the final result but it will be nice to watch the pieces slowly slide into place.

Thats why I referenced the Firefly project, its a well thought out and doable step along the way.

But how will politicians like Jackie Healy Rae deal with the globalisation of politics eh :lol:
 

DownTheyGo

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How do you take them back,and if you could they would burn on entry
The challenge for many decades and centuries ahead.

I can envisage a time when a lifestyle choice is on offer to consider living in far flung places far from earth.

It's out there, granted, but "its what I choose to believe" :)
 

General Mayhem

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Of course many solutions to this problem have been proposed and a few are being seriously researched and we can expect that within a few decades we might see the first space elevator beginning construction just as soon as the lads and lassies currently working on carbon nanotubes get the finger out and begin building or growing carbon nanotube cable longer than a few inches :p.
Pat,

I believe research is underway into combining the space elevator with the Archimedes Bridge so hopefully it will be a lot sooner than decades.:cool:
 

Pat Gill

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How do you take them back,and if you could they would burn on entry
The Firefly project expects one of its first products to be rocket fuel supplied to existing satellite owners to enable their satellites to stay in orbit longer.

In a similar vein if fuel could be produced in space and supplied in near earth orbit, then the cost of rocket launches would be slashed.

As the man said in the OP, "We will only be visitors in space until we learn how to live off the land there,"

Besides the space elevator will solve the problem of supplying the earth with gold, diamonds and hydrocarbons :shock2:
 

Pat Gill

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Pat,

I believe research is underway into combining the space elevator with the Archimedes Bridge so hopefully it will be a lot sooner than decades.:cool:
Well that would help to cushion the physical forces acting on the tether, but can you imagine the traffic jams getting to the new station they will have to build.
 

Mr. Bumble

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I think it will be a race between developing technologies vs mankind's determination to make itself extinct. My money is on mankind.
 

General Mayhem

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Well that would help to cushion the physical forces acting on the tether, but can you imagine the traffic jams getting to the new station they will have to build.
I think it will be a race between developing technologies vs mankind's determination to make itself extinct. My money is on mankind.
Need I say more?
 

cinnte

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The challenge for many decades and centuries ahead.

I can envisage a time when a lifestyle choice is on offer to consider living in far flung places far from earth.

It's out there, granted, but "its what I choose to believe" :)
Fair enough
 

Telemachus

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Those of us with even a basic knowledge of physics know that every single one of our resource problems and many of mankind's other problems will be solved, along with the arrival of many wonderful new economic and social opportunities, just as soon as we become a spacefaring race.

Life for a european was utterly changed as soon as science began to given parity of esteem with religious philosophy and people such as Christopher Columbus began to explore beyond the known world of the time.

It occurs to me that something similar is afoot at this time in our history, globalisation and the communications revolution is beginning to replace nationalism, we have already begun to tentatively explore space and the concept of globalisation has moved beyond mere economics into almost every facet of our lives including science (perhaps science was the first globalisor) .

Yet the problem of ready and affordable access to space still remains, no matter how many times you do the sums, a rocket still needs to reach 17,000 mph in order to escape Earth's gravity and most of the costs of a space launch involves the chicken and egg situation of the rocket carrying enough fuel to reach escape velocity which means the rocket has to be bigger and so more fuel is..... , the cost of launching a payload into orbit has decreased since the 1960's but it is still a very expensive procedure.

Of course many solutions to this problem have been proposed and a few are being seriously researched and we can expect that within a few decades we might see the first space elevator beginning construction just as soon as the lads and lassies currently working on carbon nanotubes get the finger out and begin building or growing carbon nanotube cable longer than a few inches :p.

But as in everyday life, often its not the lads working on the big glamorous projects which keep the ball rolling, sometimes its the less ambitous but well thought out smaller step which hurries us to our destiny.

I especially like the 3D printer part of this project, thats real innovation.

Asteroid-mining 'FireFlys' will be ready for action by 2015, vows space firm




And its nice to know that real cutting edge R&D takes place in Ireland 2013
, nice one UCC, Moore's law safe for another while and it proves my point above about globalisation and the communications revolution perfectly.
We could fund a manned space program ourselves with the 600 million euro in foreign aid we give away each year and advance all of mankind while creating loads of jobs.
 

cinnte

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The Firefly project expects one of its first products to be rocket fuel supplied to existing satellite owners to enable their satellites to stay in orbit longer.

In a similar vein if fuel could be produced in space and supplied in near earth orbit, then the cost of rocket launches would be slashed.

As the man said in the OP, "We will only be visitors in space until we learn how to live off the land there,"

Besides the space elevator will solve the problem of supplying the earth with gold, diamonds and hydrocarbons :shock2:
Maybe Ifor Williams could get in on it
 

DownTheyGo

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We could fund a manned space program ourselves with the 600 million euro in foreign aid we give away each year and advance all of mankind while creating loads of jobs.
It would be something alright to see the country get serious with such an initiative. In this regard though, scale is everything. But always remember, "big things have small beginnings."
 

APettigrew92

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Why would we want to export all these problems we already have?

You talk about Globalization as some sort of all-gathering movement which can save all of our woes.

You also mentioned "acute food shortages" as a reason for suffering elsewhere. Just to let you know, Mankind produces enough food to comfortably feed 11 BILLION people. A lot of the extra goes on fodder for cattle so that those cattle can then pump the air full of 500 gallons of Methane per head a day, while simultaneously we cut down all the Oxygen-producing trees in the Amazon to further satisfy our desire for consumer goods.

2 billion people live in abject misery. Opulence is sinful, and we all pay for it. And you talk of space exploration? So what, we can spread like a plague of locusts among the stars and ruin the known galaxy for the rest of it?

We have a responsibility to sort our own world out. There is more than enough here to satisfy the needs for everyone here. It is this culture of "want" and "desire" which would only lead to the destruction of us as a distinguishable race on this planet.
 

Pat Gill

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I think it will be a race between developing technologies vs mankind's determination to make itself extinct. My money is on mankind.
I think that such an opinion is possibly an artifact of the type of nationalistic political leadership we have grown used to over the last few centuries, before the advent of nation states though we were our politics was very local all the way back to the tribe.

I used never give politics a second thought until about 25 years ago I was on a job which lasted while in a place that was miles from anywhere with nothing to do after the daily toil.

So I wrote a short story about life onboard the first large scale space station that humanity was destined to build, for some reason the storyline veered towards the politics of the project, at first the story probed the likely politics aboard the space station but I found myself touching on the likely politics on Earth which had enabled a space station with 3000 inhabitants to be built in the first place.

There are very few aspects of life which globalisation has yet to change utterly but I think I can discern the beginning of the globalisation of our political system.

Globalisation allied to the internet gives a lot of power back to the ordinary man or woman to influence politics, certainly in the long term.
 

Pat Gill

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It would be something alright to see the country get serious with such an initiative. In this regard though, scale is everything. But always remember, "big things have small beginnings."
For some reason I can't give likes in this thread so this is the best I can do.
 

Pat Gill

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