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  1. #11
    Tropical Hoon Astrofizix's Avatar
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    I also would love to catch a launch from out on the water. Much better than dealing with the crowds and traffic etc viewing from land.

    If Starship works out as planned it will change the space game in an even more fundamental way than Falcon 9 already has. To me the next major step after Starship in launch vehicles really should be nuclear power. Further evolution of chemical propulsion from here is just diminishing returns.

  2. #12
    Then there is that little problem of the speed limitation. Other than Mars, which seems more doable every day thanks to SpaceX, where else can mankind go? Our solar system is very limited as far as destinations go. According to NASA the nearest inhabitable planet in the "Goldilocks Zone" is a mere 14 light years away.

    It's going to take a science fiction/Star Trek type of breakthrough to solve the whole speed of light "issue" if humans are going to really go places. Then again I could be wrong..........

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astrofizix View Post
    I also would love to catch a launch from out on the water. Much better than dealing with the crowds and traffic etc viewing from land.
    The balcony of our 10th floor condo ws 4 miles from SpaceX. Yep, would love to catch it from there with a telephoto lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Astrofizix View Post
    If Starship works out as planned it will change the space game in an even more fundamental way than Falcon 9 already has. To me the next major step after Starship in launch vehicles really should be nuclear power. Further evolution of chemical propulsion from here is just diminishing returns.
    I'm a BIG proponent of nuclear power. I used to work with radioactive materials every day. Unfortunately the environmentalists have virtually killed all new nuclear projects in this country. They sure wouldn't let you launch any nuclear materials into the air!

  4. #14
    Tropical Hoon Astrofizix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cranofwaterfell View Post
    Then there is that little problem of the speed limitation. Other than Mars, which seems more doable every day thanks to SpaceX, where else can mankind go? Our solar system is very limited as far as destinations go. According to NASA the nearest inhabitable planet in the "Goldilocks Zone" is a mere 14 light years away.

    It's going to take a science fiction/Star Trek type of breakthrough to solve the whole speed of light "issue" if humans are going to really go places. Then again I could be wrong..........
    This is a subject I absolutely love.
    Ok yes and no... There are other places in our solar system of great importance for humans to visit, utilise, and perhaps colonise. The ice moons of all 4 gas giants (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune), and some other objects as well.
    I have long thought that if only Venus was in Mars' orbit and Mars was in Venus' orbit, we would have a much easier time of living on these places. But we have to work with what we have of course.

    As for leaving the solar system, yes we definitely need to start aiming for that as soon as practical. It can be done without breaking Einstein's physics, we really only need to go something like a few percent of the speed of light to make it work. That isn't easy, but it is well within the purview of either Nuclear Fusion or perhaps more realistically a Molten Salt Reactor type rocket ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_salt-water_rocket ).

    It would not be the warp speed travel of Star Trek or Star Wars etc, but it is a workable roadmap (start chart?) to get us out of the solar system in a generation.

    As for this whole goldilocks thing though, I have to say I think most Astrophysicists are wildly optimistic about habitability and extant alien life on exoplanets. Personally, and this is probably the realist / pessimist in me, I think planets anything like Earth will turn out to be exceedingly rare. But with a little human ingenuity and the removal of all the bureaucratic cockblocks that ignorant morons and heavily vested corrupt interests keep throwing in the way, we could definitely be star-hopping around the galaxy and making what we find work for us. I don't think we need magical fairy land destinations and a mythical galactic alien community for success, we just need to get the hell started on this project.

  5. #15
    Tropical Hoon Astrofizix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    The balcony of our 10th floor condo ws 4 miles from SpaceX. Yep, would love to catch it from there with a telephoto lens.
    You lucky son of a bitch hahaha. Well, I say that as I sit here in a tropical paradise wondering which exotic island I will visit next. Still, no rocket launches around here, at least until world war 3 starts anyway


    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    I'm a BIG proponent of nuclear power. I used to work with radioactive materials every day. Unfortunately the environmentalists have virtually killed all new nuclear projects in this country. They sure wouldn't let you launch any nuclear materials into the air!
    Great to hear, and I totally agree! It is one of the worst parts of this regressive authoritarian zeitgeist that seemingly wants us to somehow live in a banal technocratic dystopia, and simultaneously return to the Stone Age.

    The fact we are not doing many and varied things with nuclear power with appropriate safeguards at this point in our evolution is patently ridiculous. I live in the actual nation with the world's largest deposit of uranium ore, and yet here we are still burning coal and increasingly building inefficient renewables for power. It is like crossing the pacific by looking at a ship and saying "Oh that's nice and all, but no thanks, I'll swim. Ships can be dangerous when the captain is drunk and the crew mutinies." It kills me.

    We could be up and running in short order with modern, conventional light water reactors with 1st-world safety measures, then transition to uranium molten salt reactors with ice plug safety features that are virtually idiot-proof, and then from there go to thorium reactors once that technology is up and running. All green energy, all real-world achievable, and yet it will likely never happen.

    He3 Fusion power after that would be icing on the cake if it ever happens, but as the sarcastic saying goes: Nuclear Fusion is the energy of the future, and always will be.

    Nuclear power could give us all the power we need right now, and allow us to do amazing things in space. Actual amazing, not the type of 'amazing' with which so many people now seem to label their sandwiches and their conversations; but the real thing where you are genuinely amazed, and can scarcely believe how big and open and exciting the adventure is.

    Anyway time to get back to reality, and get my implant chip and my hand axe....

  6. #16
    I still maintain that speed is the key to get up and away from our solar system. Otherwise you're looking at a generational ship where original crew (possibly several crews thereafter) never see the destination. That idea is pretty far out there too and was covered in Heinlein's Orphans of The Sky.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    Any idea when the next launch is scheduled for?
    https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/


  8. #18
    Tropical Hoon Astrofizix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cranofwaterfell View Post
    I still maintain that speed is the key to get up and away from our solar system. Otherwise you're looking at a generational ship where original crew (possibly several crews thereafter) never see the destination. That idea is pretty far out there too and was covered in Heinlein's Orphans of The Sky.
    I have to say I disagree with this. At least with the full version of it. As long as you can set up shop at each new solar system, each generation will indeed reach its destination. It is still a generational crew for sure, but they make the decision to jump on board at 20 or 30, and arrive in their retirement years. No it's not ideal, but neither was crossing oceans in rudimentary canoes or walking across the arctic circle into the new world, yet people did it. And after a few generations, maybe we solve the myriad of problems around antimatter production, containment, propulsion and radiation and we end up being able to do it quicker or make bigger leaps to better solar systems. I mean, you know, if the commies don't stop us before we start of course....

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xspook View Post
    Wow! I didn't realize that there were so many rocket launches.

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