Moderator: Nicole Marie
My dear Ms. boo, I can't be seen with you until one of us swaps coasts (which won't happen for another week on my part).Originally posted by piqaboo:
I think Barfle doesnt want to be seen with us....
There's no doubt it's spectacular. I was in Florida once when a shuttle was supposed to be launched, but it was one of those five-seconds-to-go scrubs, and I had to leave town the next day.Originally posted by Schmeelkie:
I think the Shuttle was great when it first came out - it really expanded what we could do in space. And I fondly remember watching the first take-off on TV at school - it was an event!
While there's no doubt the space program has driven many technologies, I agree that space will only become useful once someone finds a use for it. We have communications satellites that are 100% privately funded, and even though GPS is a military operation, I can imagine such a program being undertaken by private enterprise, with licensing required to use the signals (like satellite radio).Originally posted by Schmeelkie:
I think the X-prize people have the right idea - our next steps in space need to be commercial or privately funded or else we'll never get far. Too many people already think NASA gets too much funding - money that could possibly be used better elsewhere. I don't really agree with that, but while that vocal minority is out there, NASA is never going to get a big enough boost in funds to create a replacement fleet of Shuttles. The more people trying different ways to get into space (and stay there too - orbitals and moon-based stations), the more likely it is that someone will find a cheaper, safer way to get up there.
I'm not too worried about the sun going out any time soon, but the exploration of space is simply the next frontier. We need to find a way to make the moon profitable, and it WILL be utilized and colonized.Originally posted by Schmeelkie:
And for those who wonder why we have to go to space at all - well, you know how things like oil are limited resources? Our sun isn't going to last forever either, or there's always the possibility of a catastrophic asteroid hit. Neither of these things are terribly likely in our, or our children's lifetimes, but we shouldn't be waiting for disaster to be imminent before thinking of getting off this planet. Also, there's tons of resources waiting to be used in space - asteroids and other bodies to be mined, not to mention the human need for exploration and discovery. There will always be people who want to explore beyond our world, and encouraging these people can have unthought-of benefits.
I don't know if I'd be satisfied with a suborbital flight like Virgin is planning on offering in the next few years, but it would be quite a kick! Seriously, I'd even fly in the shuttle if given a chance.Originally posted by Schmeelkie:
I know I would jump at a chance to go into space - even for only an orbit or two around the earth...
Yeah! But I bet Greenpeace and their ilk would protest that too.Originally posted by Schmeelkie:
Also, there's tons of resources waiting to be used in space - asteroids and other bodies to be mined.
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