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The Space Exploration Thread

MauroPantin

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Hi folks!

Just wondering if anyone else here is interested/excited/curious about this topic in particular. Thought I'd start a thread to discuss news and all that, since I couldn't find anything around in the forum and a lot of great advancements are being made in this area.

There are several relatively new rocket companies, like NZ's RocketLab, some more experienced players like SpaceX and, of course NASA, are all aiming for different targets. It all seems incredibly exciting to me. I'm 33 right now, and have always felt a little envy for my parent's generation because, as crude as it was, they got the chance to watch people walking on the moon live.

The events of Apollo ushered a lot of sci-fi literature and pop culture, films that we love, etc... and then that momentum kind of stopped. It was the turn of the millennium and all we had were pop boy bands and a cultural worry of computers not being able to handle 4 digit dates... Not what was promised, at all. It seems great to me that things are looking like they are "back on track" in that sense. Just this morning SpaceX blew up another Starship test vehicle in the middle of a fog haze, which made it visually boring but sonically... oh boy. That was a great source for sound design booms.

It seems nuts, but things are looking like in a decade or two space tourism and travel will become much more accessible (still prohibitive for the common man, perhaps, but not a crazy idea). I am very much looking forward and excited to seeing that version of the future.
 

cuttime

Active Member
Space is my porn. Personally I think manned Mars missions are kind of pie in the sky; the technology just does not exist yet to get a human there without near fatal doses of radiation. Any human that does make it to Mars is likely to die a cold miserable death. As much as I love the robotic Mars missions, I think ample time has passed that signs of life would have been spotted by now. My money for life detection is on Europa and the Clipper missions. Very exciting stuff! Subsurface oceans are much more common than previously thought, and there will be much to explore.

As far as manned missions go, a lunar base and orbital platform would be far easier to do, and to sustain, and would make a Mars mission much more feasible in the future. I'm still sick that we abandoned that goal. Now we have to reinvent the wheel again, but still, is doable and likely. We'll see how the Artemis program shakes out. Political will is everything, and if the Chinese make a permanent presence on the moon, you can bet that we'll be there, too. I'm probably too old to make it there, but it is still within the realm of possibility.

Have you seen Apollo 11? A very lovely film, but somewhat oversold IMHO. The 70mm footage is indeed spectacular, but was not enough to sustain a feature length movie, and it made the non-70mm footage look much worse by comparison. The best 70mm shots were close ups of the crew: all very business-like, but you could see the faintest glimpses of fear behind their eyes. Michael Collins was my favorite member, as it seems he had the best sense of humor.
 

tf-drone

Active Member
I trust we have all read the Three-Body Problem trilogy by Cixin Liu? Properly mind-blowing.
only the first book so far, the second is in the waitung list. Don't know if the third is already available in german. Should be.

EDIT: it is, just ordered it.
 
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MauroPantin

MauroPantin

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@cuttime Europa Clipper is #1 on my list as the coolest planetary science mission planned yet. Its hard to stay patient with these things, though. They take so many years to actually happen. I am also eager for the James Webb Space Telescope to launch, at some point.

Regarding Mars, my bet is that SpaceX will make it happen, somehow. Musk is a super weird dude, but he's got ample resources and is clearly on a mission. What those guys are doing is nuts. I totally agree on the radiation challenges, though. But they seem to find a way to make it happen. Still, I don't think they are going to fit the schedules he keeps announcing. It's always "one or two years"... I don't know as much as him or any engineer but just... no. As much as I'd love to see that, it's too optimistic.

The Moon will happen sooner, thankfully. SLS and Gateway, hopefully. I have to say that I don't really follow the Chinese program, but then again there's not that much "outreach" by them or at least I haven't come across it. So I don't know what their current timeline is.

Apollo 11 was lovely. It inspired me to pick up a game called Re-Entry, which is basically a flight sim for the entire Apollo experience (and Mercury and Gemini, too). It follows the actual checklists to the letter and after playing that... man. The courage of those dudes, it created a new appreciation for the engineering and bravery that getting to the Moon required.

I trust we have all read the Three-Body Problem trilogy by Cixin Liu? Properly mind-blowing.
Probably one of the best space related trilogies of the last 20 years. It's right up there with Foundation by Asimov, IMO.
 
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MauroPantin

MauroPantin

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So, here's an interesting video that came up for me today. It's a cool analysis. I've never heard some of those thoughts as to why it would have been impossible to fake it.

 
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MauroPantin

MauroPantin

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SpaceX has won the contract for the Artemis human landing system. Those Starship tests just got even more interesting now!

 

MarcusD

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When funeral services start offering Star Cremations, Space Ejections, Astroid Burials and Black Hole ceremonies - you'll know we've made it in space.

Although, the possibility of a real life Wayland Yutani emerging, is very probable. Space = unlimited resources and a whole lot of money for business that can start harvesting those precious materials. Just think, probably in my lifetime we'll witness the first person to purchase a whole planet..
 
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MauroPantin

MauroPantin

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Michael Collins RIP:

Someone mentioned today on Twitter or (somewhere else, can't remember) that it would be cool if the gateway lunar station was called "Collins Station". I think that has a nice ring to it.
 
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MauroPantin

MauroPantin

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Starship SN15 might lift off today, for anyone who's interested in watching live, they might nail it this time. And if not, it is always a great show. Numerous people cover these events but my fave so far has been Tim Dodd (aka Everyday Astronaut). I'll add another message to this thread if it's actually happening to let you guys know.
 
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