Human Spaceflight: No Single Rationale Justifies it, NRC Report

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Yminale, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's true, limited seats aboard the spacecraft will result into an inevitable self-selection of the people living on off-world colonies. Instead of average Joes, they will inhabited by crazy socially challenged overzealous people who chose to abandon the comfort of the modern world for isolation in the desert and collectively went on a suicide mission, babbling something about the end of the world.
     
  2. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    I just wanted to quote it because it's so good.
     
  3. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Very good points. If the anti-human spaceflight folks want to start a fight--make it a matter of it becoming a zero-sum game. This Pandora's box we open together, or not at all. No Buck Rogers, no bucks.

    That ought to shut them up right quick.
     
  4. PurpleBuddha

    PurpleBuddha Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have heard this before. I don't understand how funding NASA means we would suddenly stop working on the problems at home.

    We have always had problems at home and unless you are expecting a utopia around the corner there is no near end in sight. If we let problems at home cripple us from making new advances then that becomes a problem all by itself.
     
  5. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    Meanwhile, Scotland has 6 candidates for UK's first Spaceport.

    linky
     
  6. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Some of the people who colonized the Americas were running away from the problems in Europe and Asian and other places. It isn't always what's in front of you that drives you, it's what's behind you.

    Run baby run.

    Need to take into consideration that some of our problems might simply have no solutions. And if a portion of the population, a group or nation, does discover a solution, should they be require to wait while all others adopt the solution? What if the others never do?

    Just because your neighbor refuses to clean his toilet doesn't mean you can't go to the movies.

    :)
     
  7. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    Well the progress of scientific endeavour is never held back by the poorest countries in the world but in order to make a colonising leap off the planet does not require science to catch up but funding. No one country will ever be able to afford it.
     
  8. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Never say never.
     
  9. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Why concentrate instead on feeding children who're born only to starve to death, and ensuring that their mothers and prospective mothers receive adequate care, nutritution, and family planning? Because they're here.
     
  10. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Okay, let take all the money currently spent on Human spaceflight and divide it equally, everyone on Earth will get a twenty.



    :)
     
  11. Spider

    Spider Dirty Old Man Premium Member

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    Humans in the long run are just like cats and ants and trees. They are born and they die. There is nothing special about them, unless we put that value on humans by choice. We are composed of the same biochemical elements which return to the environment when we are done using them for processing life activities.

    The only rationales we have are those we create and decide are important. The Earth will be here for us for a long time, plenty of time to develop space travel to the stars before the planet becomes unlivable.

    Unless we destroy our planet ourselves, which is certainly a possibility, and all the more reason to try a find a way to live and procreate off-planet.
     
  12. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Unless of course there is another extinction level event.
     
  13. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    Surely that would make this whole argument moot?
     
  14. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Depends on how soon it occurred. If it happened tomorrow, next year, in 20 years? Yep, moot. Beyond that we start getting into the "what might be possible"s of advancing space flight.
     
  15. Spider

    Spider Dirty Old Man Premium Member

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    We'll also be in an era of being able to deflect asteroids and comets. Defending ourselves against our own stupidity is another matter though.

    However, there'll be nothing possible that can be done if the earth decides to have another volcanic outflow like the Siberian Traps that caused the Permian Extinction event. And even that would be a slow death.
     
  16. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Also, space flight aside, any colonies would have to be self-sufficient of the Earth indefinitely and have a population large enough to not worry about a population bottleneck. In the case of Vulcanism, a sudden event like Yellowstone bringing the apocalypse may leave the species screwed unless there's been a reason to have one or more massive colonies off world before it or its like goes off. A longer event, depending on how long the Siberian Traps took to form, might push such colony projects and provide enough time to do something about it. If such an event was the result of an asteroid strike, the species is probably screwed. All in all, this is likely where we live and die.
     
  17. Spider

    Spider Dirty Old Man Premium Member

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    I think our future is in space itself living in enclosed habitats, not on planets. We evolved on Earth, and we can only live in it's biosphere. Alien biospheres will in all likely hood be deadly to us. Even terraforming a so called dead planet may awaken microbes there that can kill us.

    With enough money, we can create spinning space habitats that will be better and safer than planets. Either way, it will be enormously expensive. Better to man up and take care of the only planet we can live on.
     
  18. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think it would take a huge colony, after all, the human race apparently survived near extinction before, reduced to a few thousand individuals.

    Plus, while the number of individuals in any such colony may be small, it doesn't preclude them having large banks of sperm/eggs to preserve genetic diversity.
     
  19. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    That's a lot of people off world doing what which would send them there? What would be propelling such a diverse migration which would develop such a long term self-sustaining colony without a compelling reason?

    Why would that be going on? Without something catastrophic really impending and long enough before doomsday to feasibly do anything about it, why would this be going on?
     
  20. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Economic opportunity? adventure? vacation? scientific advancement? Survival of the species would be almost incidental to all the other reason for expanding into space.
    For the same reasons we've set up seed banks on Earth? Some people actually do take a long view.