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Old February 2 2013, 11:36 AM   #15
Edit_XYZ
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Location: At star's end.
Re: 2nd Asteroid prospecting company to start prospecting in 2015

sojourner wrote: View Post
Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
It's quite probable that, if I look into your posting history, I will find posts along the lines of ~we surround ourselves with past glory (Apollo) in order to look away from the decayed present, like any past, decayed civilization.
No, you won't. You'll find I'm the SpaceX fanboy and think Nuspace companies are going to do great things that NASA should have done if it weren't bogged down trying to be a jobs program for congress.
It was inevitable for NASA to accomplish little.

As Margaret Mead put it:
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
The corollary to this is - a species or large fractions of a species, taken as a whole, are always adverse to radical, revolutionary change.

This was verified again and again - from the few bright apes that let their kin behind, evolving to intelligence, to rule the Earth, to the aviation pioneers that built the first planes in pursuit of passion, fame and fortune.
And, as the price to LEO drops enough to make LEO accessible to a few, this will repeat itself.

Since we're talking about future visions - the solar system and, then, the galaxy will NOT be colonized by the majority of mankind. Indeed, 99% of its descendants will remain right here, on Earth, until it rots away. Much like the ~150 humans that left Africa not so long ago, only 1% of humanity will inherit the skies.

I just also happen not to be naive enough to believe the timelines that these nuspace companies present. Even the ones that are doing amazingly well haven't made a lot of their stated goals. When was Falcon 9 supposed to fly originally? How many flights did Spacex say Falcon 9 will make last year? How many years is Spaceship 2 overdue? The other problem is that for every nuspace company that has succeeded there are many more that failed. Remember Kistler? Beal? Roton? Artemis Project?

Space is still hard. Some companies will make it. A lot won't. While the industry is increasing in pace, we're not getting to Mars in the next ten years. Mining asteroids by then? A good chance. Building finished products from asteroid factories? doubtful. I hope and think that by the mid 2020's our presence in space will start to resemble the movie 2001. The next seven to ten years will tell the tale on that though.
A few years more or less - of course, it does matter to us; but not for the overarching trend of history.
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Last edited by Edit_XYZ; February 2 2013 at 11:59 AM.
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