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  #481  
Old 04-20-17, 12:10 PM
JoshuaRanch JoshuaRanch is offline
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Lotr, I've been rehashing the discussion of the thread, there have been some valid points made about why aren't we taking care of business on earth rather than exploring space. Its just human nature. We're explorers, we want the new next best thing. So I think the two will go hand in hand. We will venture out into space, and the technology advances gained there will be used to make the earth a better place to live. Its how its always done. Examples are teraforming or being able to turn salt water into drinking water. Things like that. We'll learn these techniques elsewhere, and use them on earth. Cart before the horse, but that's how the human race is, feed the curiosity and newness.
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  #482  
Old 04-20-17, 03:00 PM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshuaRanch View Post
Lotr, I've been rehashing the discussion of the thread, there have been some valid points made about why aren't we taking care of business on earth rather than exploring space. Its just human nature. We're explorers, we want the new next best thing. So I think the two will go hand in hand. We will venture out into space, and the technology advances gained there will be used to make the earth a better place to live. Its how its always done. Examples are teraforming or being able to turn salt water into drinking water. Things like that. We'll learn these techniques elsewhere, and use them on earth. Cart before the horse, but that's how the human race is, feed the curiosity and newness.
I've never bought into the argument that we need to "fix" things on earth before colonizing the solar system. As you point out the technical spin offs an aggressive space program produces results in enormous benefits. IMO humanity's urge to explore is second only to "war" in propelling our species forward.

There is also the issue of how humanity sees itself and how wide its philosophical horizons are. Exploration stimulates progress in human societies such as the move from hunter/gatherer to cultivator or the leap from lose tribes to nation states. Would the enlightenment have really taken root in human society had there not been the limitless horizon and room for growth that the "new world" offered the Europeans? Does a vast physical horizon by definition lead to an expended mental horizon?
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  #483  
Old 04-20-17, 06:17 PM
JoshuaRanch JoshuaRanch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lotr10 View Post
I've never bought into the argument that we need to "fix" things on earth before colonizing the solar system. As you point out the technical spin offs an aggressive space program produces results in enormous benefits. IMO humanity's urge to explore is second only to "war" in propelling our species forward.

There is also the issue of how humanity sees itself and how wide its philosophical horizons are. Exploration stimulates progress in human societies such as the move from hunter/gatherer to cultivator or the leap from lose tribes to nation states. Would the enlightenment have really taken root in human society had there not been the limitless horizon and room for growth that the "new world" offered the Europeans? Does a vast physical horizon by definition lead to an expended mental horizon?
There is just too much one-upmanship in our species. But it has its benefits. Greed and power isn't good for man overall, but it triggers evolvement. You gave some great examples. And this need/obsession to be numero uno results in advancing man. The guys and gals with the most money generally want to expand themselves beyond just being rich and powerful. They want to be the first. And they'll spend money to be the first. Obama's accidentally did something good by slowing down NASA. It spurred private sector billionaires to push space and science boundaries. Your last sentence - yes, it does, these advances can only help educate the population much more efficiently - that's if the population actually wants to be educated. With technological advance comes simplification as well - having computers do our thinking for us. Those with some smarts will benefit from the symbiotic collaboration. But will those not quite as smart benefit from not being required to learn and understand on their own without just pressing a button for an answer/food/relationship/Etc. Interesting to think about.
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  #484  
Old 04-21-17, 08:11 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Here's an interesting take on how you can optimize your chances of surviving an asteroid strike (hint, think Tornado):

http://www.geekwire.com/2017/what-to-do-asteroid/

Some compelling info here including how even though it would spawn the mother of all tsunamis it's better for us if an asteroid hits the ocean instead of the land. The article notes that the shock wave and heat blast are the main "killers" and in fact hiding out in your basement is the best defense you have against a near asteroid strike.

As usual you can find links to this article and other good ones at Instapundit:

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/
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  #485  
Old 04-24-17, 02:52 AM
Max Grumbleman Max Grumbleman is offline
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Recently read some stuff about the apparent damage sustained by the eyes when people go into space. This has made we reconsider the short-term possibilities of space travel. Until we can build ships large enough to produce artificial gravity while not spinning so quickly as to nauseate everyone on board, this issue appears to be extremely prohibitive. This also makes colonizing Mars a non-starter until we can (bio)engineer ourselves to withstand those conditions.
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  #486  
Old 04-24-17, 07:11 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Originally Posted by Max Grumbleman View Post
Recently read some stuff about the apparent damage sustained by the eyes when people go into space. This has made we reconsider the short-term possibilities of space travel. Until we can build ships large enough to produce artificial gravity while not spinning so quickly as to nauseate everyone on board, this issue appears to be extremely prohibitive. This also makes colonizing Mars a non-starter until we can (bio)engineer ourselves to withstand those conditions.
To be fair we still don't know what physiological barriers may or may not prevent us from directly exploring space. That work is currently underway and all we can do is hope that the barriers are not to high.

I think colonization of both the Moon & Mars could begin right now using the basic materials & methods we already have at our disposal to develop a physical infrastructure to create a colony. In the case of the Moon, building underground could shield us from the radiation effects and with Mars there are already plans to build habitats that could house humans.

Longer term humans will likely change physiologically as they evolve to adopt to these new worlds. Your point on bio-engineering is spot on and already we are being engineered to a remarkable degree (prosthetic's, artificial organs, etc.) the time is nearing when we'll start remaking human beings at the cellular level.

There should be enough gravity on both the Moon & Mars to accommodate human physiology. I also suspect that the breakthroughs in quantum physics we're seeing today will form the foundation for learning how to manipulate gravity and even create "artificial" gravity. BTW, gravity is turning out to be the strangest force in the Universe.
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  #487  
Old 04-24-17, 07:50 AM
Crusaders Crusaders is offline
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If people cannot withstand exposure to low or zero gravity for extended periods of time without harming their eyes, I don't think we could colonize anything off-world regardless of our technological capabilities. We may be limited to doing things remotely with robots and maybe for the Moon sending workers for temporary stays of just a few weeks. At least until we figure out how to create artificial gravity, artificial eyeballs, and/or engineer our eyes to withstand harsher conditions.
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  #488  
Old 04-24-17, 09:34 AM
Michael Bluth Michael Bluth is offline
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Pretty cool shot of Earth here between the rings of Saturn.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nas...ings-of-saturn


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  #489  
Old 04-24-17, 10:34 AM
Zunardo Zunardo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Bluth View Post
Pretty cool shot of Earth here between the rings of Saturn.
That IS nice. I'm assuming our moon is also visible in that shot, to the left?

I can usually see at least 2 out the 4 biggest moons when I point my 4.5 inch department-store telescope at Jupiter at any one time, but I'm not sure if I can see Saturn's moons with it. I know I could when I looked at it thru the 32" reflector scope at the Perkins observatory in Delaware 40 years ago, that was breathtaking.

About 15 years ago I was at Perseids meteor-watching event at Hocking Hills. Two astronomy nerds in their 30's brought a home-made telescope with a 15-inch mirror, and the tube was mounted on sand bags. I remember that night they showed me and my son Neptune, the Ring Nebula, and globular clusters. To see them in person after years of seeing pictures in books was stunning.
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  #490  
Old 04-24-17, 10:47 AM
Zunardo Zunardo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Grumbleman View Post
Recently read some stuff about the apparent damage sustained by the eyes when people go into space. This has made we reconsider the short-term possibilities of space travel. Until we can build ships large enough to produce artificial gravity while not spinning so quickly as to nauseate everyone on board, this issue appears to be extremely prohibitive. This also makes colonizing Mars a non-starter until we can (bio)engineer ourselves to withstand those conditions.
Good point - I hadn't heard about potential eye problems, but it makes sense. I know something as inocuous as laying down with your arm across your eyeballs can temporarily flatten your cornea, which actually improved my nearsightedness for an hour. I can see lack of gravity doing the same thing, especially combined with changes in internal fluid pressure.

I got to hear astronaut Scott Kelly speak in Denver last month about the physical effects he experienced after returning from 340 consecutive days aboard the ISS - swelling in legs and feet, flu-like symptoms, etc. The strangest effect he mentioned was extreme skin irritation when touching everyday items like clothes and bedsheets.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...-in-space.html
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  #491  
Old 04-24-17, 12:54 PM
Michael Bluth Michael Bluth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zunardo View Post
That IS nice. I'm assuming our moon is also visible in that shot, to the left?
Yep. Tiny dot to the left when you zoom in

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  #492  
Old 04-24-17, 04:26 PM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zunardo View Post
Good point - I hadn't heard about potential eye problems, but it makes sense. I know something as inocuous as laying down with your arm across your eyeballs can temporarily flatten your cornea, which actually improved my nearsightedness for an hour. I can see lack of gravity doing the same thing, especially combined with changes in internal fluid pressure.

I got to hear astronaut Scott Kelly speak in Denver last month about the physical effects he experienced after returning from 340 consecutive days aboard the ISS - swelling in legs and feet, flu-like symptoms, etc. The strangest effect he mentioned was extreme skin irritation when touching everyday items like clothes and bedsheets.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...-in-space.html
The key to this issue will be the impact of partial gravity on folks engaged in long range space flights. 340 days at zero gravity is a long time and one wonders what the symptoms would have been had he been able to spend say a couple of hours a day in a rotating section that produced centripetal gravity?

Of course on long flights to Mars there will be acceleration "gravity" experienced by the travelers. Would this alleviate the negative effects? Seems like a lot of practical R&D is needed in the next few years to answer these questions.
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  #493  
Old 04-24-17, 04:27 PM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Originally Posted by Michael Bluth View Post
Pretty cool shot of Earth here between the rings of Saturn.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nas...ings-of-saturn



Awesome image - both beautiful AND intimidating in showing us the sheer scale of the solar system.
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  #494  
Old 04-24-17, 05:29 PM
BlackHawk BlackHawk is offline
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^^^

"Pale blue dot"
---Carl Sagan
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  #495  
Old 04-25-17, 03:22 PM
JoshuaRanch JoshuaRanch is offline
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Michael Bluth -awesome, thanks for the pick. It appears simulating being on earth, in a spaceship, or somewhere else in space, may be the biggest obstacle to exploring the stars. Great discussion, thank you all.
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  #496  
Old 04-26-17, 11:12 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Looks like we might have a serious space race breaking out as China announces it would like to work with the European Space Agency to build a Moon colony:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...n-outpost.html

They're calling it a "Moon village". Check out the cool video and great pictures of the proposed base.
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  #497  
Old 04-27-17, 01:28 PM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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A neat example of just how tenacious and tough life is:

http://www.sciencealert.com/research...canic-eruption

They're calling it "furry bacteria" and it moved in and colonized the slopes of an undersea volcano as soon as the eruption was over. With life so diverse & weird on earth imagine what it will look like in the vastness of the galaxy.
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  #498  
Old 04-28-17, 09:54 AM
Michael Bluth Michael Bluth is offline
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More pics from Saturn: a giant hurricane-like storm

http://www.space.com/36634-giant-sat...e=notification

Quote:
It hosts layers of clouds and that huge, spinning hexagon-shaped storm on its north pole, as well as more temporary storms that streak across the planet's surface. (One was nearly as wide as Earth.) It also hosts winds among the fastest in the solar system — NASA's Voyager missions, which passed Saturn in 1980 and 1981, measured winds at more than 1,100 mph (1,800 kph).
That's some serious wind
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