Discussion:
Why space colonization never happened as envisioned
(too old to reply)
garfangle
2003-09-02 03:43:14 UTC
Permalink
Although in the 1950s/60s it seems that space colonization was only a
few decades away (see: sci-fi at the time), even if we had continued
to fund space development through private commercialization, I doubt
we'd be much farther than we are at today. Aside from the dismantling
of the rocket program and the setbacks of the shuttle program and cost
of the space station , I say we still would not be any closer to
having habitable colonies in either earth orbit, on the Moon or Mars.

Why? Simple because there would be no economic basis for doing so by
the private sector. Given the costs of putting material into space
(on the order of thousands of dollars a pound) and assembling it, no
development could be structured such that it would generate a feasable
return. Even if one could replicate a Dennis Tito scenario, that
would just mean the platform would be vanity, not a real, long-term
livable habitat.

The reason why the New World was settled in the 16th/17th century,
aside from explorations for gold, was for governments to establish
outposts for their empires and for desperate and poor settlers to
enjoy a new life away from the European millieu. By international
law, governments cannot make soverign land claims. Space presents
both high costs and a hostile environment that would be impossible for
typical immigrants to afford and have the skill to work in.

The scenario that science fiction often lays out is one from where a
group of astronauts, scientists and engineers are sent into space to
establish a base colony on the Moon/Mars. After a few years of
development the colony expands to accomodate other professions
including miners, traders, et al. Life beings to simulate Earth
communities as the early settlers being to have families on the new
planet/colony. And so the story ends happily.

However, I do not see where such an enterprise could get started in
terms of massive financial support which would run into the hundreds
of billions for at least the first decade if the settlement was going
to be an actual colony and not just an outpost. Moreover, even if it
was backed by a Bill Gates or a trans-government entity I do not see
how the colony makes a return for the investment. It is just a
sinkhole. Using the base as an exotic research center or establishing
mining operations are nice to have but they won't recoup hardly any of
the costs and any eventual breakthroughs would take many years if at
all. Unless colony can discover the fountain of youth drug or Earth
resources are so depleted that it make transplanetary shipping cost
effective, I do not see why any rational business or government would
make such a speculative investment.

For the most part, the business model that drove New World colonies
was that sailing companies would be paid by would be (voluntary)
settlers, either upfront or as a portion of their eventual labor, to
make the journey across the Atlantic ocean. The boats were often
barely seaworthy and passenger safety concerns were not a high
priority, esp. for those who paid in advance. Also the crew were
often composed of former naval men, convicts and other low paid
laborers. This model is replicated today is the cases of Chinese
immigrant smuggling.

However, each of these circumstances which made settling so profitable
for the sailing companies would not exist in colonizing space. Either
they would be impractical or intolerable. The space vehicle would
have to be custom built to exacting specifications of tolerance and
performance. The crew would be drawn from the NASA's best. If the
settlers were to be scientists and engineers, they obviously could not
afford to pay the cost there, nor bring their families. And they
would not have any means of earning any money once they landed.

So, I do not see how even the most promising developments that could
have occured since the first Moon landed would have overcome these
impediments.

Ciao.
Rand Simberg
2003-09-02 05:04:47 UTC
Permalink
On 1 Sep 2003 20:43:14 -0700, in a place far, far away,
Post by garfangle
Although in the 1950s/60s it seems that space colonization was only a
few decades away (see: sci-fi at the time), even if we had continued
to fund space development through private commercialization, I doubt
we'd be much farther than we are at today. Aside from the dismantling
of the rocket program and the setbacks of the shuttle program and cost
of the space station , I say we still would not be any closer to
having habitable colonies in either earth orbit, on the Moon or Mars.
Why? Simple because there would be no economic basis for doing so by
the private sector. Given the costs of putting material into space
(on the order of thousands of dollars a pound)
There is no intrinsic reason for costs to be this high.

<rest of irrelevant analysis, based on flawed premise, snipped>
--
simberg.interglobal.org * 310 372-7963 (CA) 307 739-1296 (Jackson Hole)
interglobal space lines * 307 733-1715 (Fax) http://www.interglobal.org

"Extraordinary launch vehicles require extraordinary markets..."
Swap the first . and @ and throw out the ".trash" to email me.
Here's my email address for autospammers: ***@fbi.gov
Ian Woollard
2003-09-02 15:15:47 UTC
Permalink
Without habitable planets to go to, space becomes a route without destinations.
Putting up a trillion-dollar coke can for a few hundred people to live in
becomes beside the point.
Not if it makes money. People, *like* being in space. They love zero-g;
they love looking at the earth sweeping past from orbit.

So there is a market.

Sure, it's a tiny market right now, but it's growing. The only problem
is to get the cost down so that the market is bigger; and that's a lot
to do with economies of scale. If we get enough people on a tourism
kick, then the next step is using extraterrestial resources to build the
hotels and stuff.

It sounds crazy but it's cheaper that way- even though the asteroid and
lunar resources are physically much further away, the return of those
resources to earth orbit is still cheaper than launching them from the
earth. Rockets to roll the resources down into earths gravity well and
stabilise them in LEO are tiny- armchair sized rockets; whereas rockets
to launch from earth are multiple stories high.
G EddieA95
2003-09-02 22:27:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian Woollard
Not if it makes money. People, *like* being in space. They love zero-g;
they love looking at the earth sweeping past from orbit.
So there is a market.
Sure, it's a tiny market right now, but it's growing.
Not fast enough to pay the staggering cost of development of infrastructure,
let alone transporting the human bodies *to* the infrastructure.

I agree that it *will* be there, I'm just not optimistic about the time frame.
It's like trying to set up a cruiseline industry in 1492.
Sander Vesik
2003-09-02 21:10:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by garfangle
Why? Simple because there would be no economic basis for doing so by
the private sector.
I can see one scenario. If there had not been a sudden resumption of cheap oil
from the Middle East, or alternately if we had turned away from fossil fuels
due to Greenhouse Effect concerns, I think we might have pursued SPS. That
might have lead to use of space resources which might in turn have lead to
permanent habitats in HEO.
It is very hard to imagine the lack of need for SPS or similar in the mid-term
future. Even optimisticly, most fossil fuel reserves will be gone in 30-50
years, and there is a real chance of the production peaking in not more than 10.
I happen to agree with you that one can hardly get from a small,
government-funded base of scientist/explorers to a thriving, economically
viable human community without a pretty compelling economic opportunity
presenting itself in between.
--
Sander

+++ Out of cheese error +++
G EddieA95
2003-09-02 22:23:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sander Vesik
optimisticly, most fossil fuel reserves will be gone in 30-50
years, and there is a real chance of the production peaking in not more than 10.
No, there's lots of coal out there, and using it will still be cheaper than
SPS, tho all the natureworshippers will need to be told to sit down and shut
up.

I agree though, SPS R&D needs to be done *now* so we will have it when we do in
fact need it.
Ultimate Buu
2003-09-03 07:28:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by G EddieA95
Post by Sander Vesik
optimisticly, most fossil fuel reserves will be gone in 30-50
years, and there is a real chance of the production peaking in not more
than
Post by G EddieA95
Post by Sander Vesik
10.
No, there's lots of coal out there, and using it will still be cheaper than
SPS, tho all the natureworshippers will need to be told to sit down and shut
up.
You're forgetting nuclear as well. There's enough uranium to last at last
150 years if not more. Beyond that, fusion will most likely be a reality.
James Nicoll
2003-09-03 14:00:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ultimate Buu
Post by G EddieA95
Post by Sander Vesik
optimisticly, most fossil fuel reserves will be gone in 30-50
years, and there is a real chance of the production peaking in not more
than
Post by G EddieA95
Post by Sander Vesik
10.
No, there's lots of coal out there, and using it will still be cheaper
than
Post by G EddieA95
SPS, tho all the natureworshippers will need to be told to sit down and
shut
Post by G EddieA95
up.
You're forgetting nuclear as well. There's enough uranium to last at last
150 years if not more. Beyond that, fusion will most likely be a reality.
Actually, there's 6000 ppb of thorium in the Earth's crust and
1800 ppb of uranium, totalling very roughly 10^30 joules to play with.
If you assume a civilization that consumes one hundred times more energy
than we do now, that's enough for over thirty million years and by the end
of that period we should be no more than thirty years away from commercial
fusion.

I've been noodling around with ideas for deep crustal mining,
too. There's an entire subterranian ecology down there that has not been
made human oriented yet, although the paltry amount of energy it has to
use limits what one can do with it.
--
It's amazing how the waterdrops form: a ball of water with an air bubble
inside it and inside of that one more bubble of water. It looks so beautiful
[...]. I realized something: the world is interesting for the man who can
be surprised. -Valentin Lebedev-
James Nicoll
2003-09-03 14:02:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Nicoll
Post by Ultimate Buu
Post by G EddieA95
Post by Sander Vesik
optimisticly, most fossil fuel reserves will be gone in 30-50
years, and there is a real chance of the production peaking in not more
than
Post by G EddieA95
Post by Sander Vesik
10.
No, there's lots of coal out there, and using it will still be cheaper
than
Post by G EddieA95
SPS, tho all the natureworshippers will need to be told to sit down and
shut
Post by G EddieA95
up.
You're forgetting nuclear as well. There's enough uranium to last at last
150 years if not more. Beyond that, fusion will most likely be a reality.
Actually, there's 6000 ppb of thorium in the Earth's crust and
1800 ppb of uranium, totalling very roughly 10^30 joules to play with.
If you assume a civilization that consumes one hundred times more energy
per unit time! per unit time!
--
It's amazing how the waterdrops form: a ball of water with an air bubble
inside it and inside of that one more bubble of water. It looks so beautiful
[...]. I realized something: the world is interesting for the man who can
be surprised. -Valentin Lebedev-
James Nicoll
2003-09-03 16:10:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Nicoll
Post by Ultimate Buu
You're forgetting nuclear as well. There's enough uranium to last at last
150 years if not more. Beyond that, fusion will most likely be a reality.
Actually, there's 6000 ppb of thorium in the Earth's crust and
1800 ppb of uranium, totalling very roughly 10^30 joules to play with.
If you assume a civilization that consumes one hundred times more energy
than we do now, that's enough for over thirty million years and by the end
of that period we should be no more than thirty years away from commercial
fusion.
I've been noodling around with ideas for deep crustal mining,
too. There's an entire subterranian ecology down there that has not been
made human oriented yet, although the paltry amount of energy it has to
use limits what one can do with it.
http://inisjp.tokai.jaeri.go.jp/ACT98E/04/0401.htm
http://ito01.gs.niigata-u.ac.jp/jcej/e24_0500.html
http://wwwsoc.nii.ac.jp/jsac/analsci/pdfs/a16_0429.pdf
Noted and saved.

Using seawater avoids the potential problem I saw with crustal
manipulation, that tiny volume changes in tall columns can produce
annoying swelling or subsistance at the surface. It's hard to make a
long term hole in water.
--
It's amazing how the waterdrops form: a ball of water with an air bubble
inside it and inside of that one more bubble of water. It looks so beautiful
[...]. I realized something: the world is interesting for the man who can
be surprised. -Valentin Lebedev-
Hop David
2003-09-03 21:58:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Nicoll
Using seawater avoids the potential problem I saw with crustal
manipulation, that tiny volume changes in tall columns can produce
annoying swelling or subsistance at the surface. It's hard to make a
long term hole in water.
A much greater problem for deep hard rock mining, IMO, is stress at
great depths. Of course vertical stress grows as you go deeper. And in
many cases side stress is even greater. This used to mystify before the
theory of plate tectonics came along.


Hop
http://clowder.net/hop/index.html
Alex Terrell
2003-09-03 20:21:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by G EddieA95
Post by Sander Vesik
optimisticly, most fossil fuel reserves will be gone in 30-50
years, and there is a real chance of the production peaking in not more than 10.
No, there's lots of coal out there, and using it will still be cheaper than
SPS, tho all the natureworshippers will need to be told to sit down and shut
up.
You can burn all the coal you want. Just make sure you don't create
CO2 and ruin my ski holidays (and much more besides).
Post by G EddieA95
I agree though, SPS R&D needs to be done *now* so we will have it when we do in
fact need it.
We could certainly start with some useful research instead of all the
stuff their currently not doing on ISS.
G EddieA95
2003-09-04 14:18:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by G EddieA95
tho all the natureworshippers will need to be told to sit down and shut
Post by G EddieA95
up.
You can burn all the coal you want. Just make sure you don't create
CO2 and ruin my ski holidays (and much more besides).
If your ski holidays are weighed against the power needs of the masses, you may
have to spend some winters at home. Or travel farther to find the snow.
Post by G EddieA95
Post by G EddieA95
I agree though, SPS R&D needs to be done *now* so we will have it when we
do in
Post by G EddieA95
fact need it.
We could certainly start with some useful research instead of all the
stuff their currently not doing on ISS.
If in fact ISS can even provide such research. My guess is it will require an
entirely new station. But yes, we need to start, and about ten years ago.
Paul F. Dietz
2003-09-02 23:44:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sander Vesik
It is very hard to imagine the lack of need for SPS or similar in the mid-term
future. Even optimisticly, most fossil fuel reserves will be gone in 30-50
years, and there is a real chance of the production peaking in not more than 10.
Ground-based sources will likely be cheaper, unless you play the usual game
of assuming that only SPS technology can improve.

Coal will last much longer than 30-50 years, and can be used without
global warming if the CO2 is sequestered by mineral carbonation. This
would also glut the market for metals that could be mined from asteroids,
since olivine and serpentine are loaded with nickel and PGEs.

Paul
John Ordover
2003-09-03 00:56:30 UTC
Permalink
This is exactly correct. The limitation to going into space is
economic, not technological - and that may well be the solution to the
Fermi Paradox.
Post by garfangle
Although in the 1950s/60s it seems that space colonization was only a
few decades away (see: sci-fi at the time), even if we had continued
to fund space development through private commercialization, I doubt
we'd be much farther than we are at today. Aside from the dismantling
of the rocket program and the setbacks of the shuttle program and cost
of the space station , I say we still would not be any closer to
having habitable colonies in either earth orbit, on the Moon or Mars.
Why? Simple because there would be no economic basis for doing so by
the private sector. Given the costs of putting material into space
(on the order of thousands of dollars a pound) and assembling it, no
development could be structured such that it would generate a feasable
return. Even if one could replicate a Dennis Tito scenario, that
would just mean the platform would be vanity, not a real, long-term
livable habitat.
The reason why the New World was settled in the 16th/17th century,
aside from explorations for gold, was for governments to establish
outposts for their empires and for desperate and poor settlers to
enjoy a new life away from the European millieu. By international
law, governments cannot make soverign land claims. Space presents
both high costs and a hostile environment that would be impossible for
typical immigrants to afford and have the skill to work in.
The scenario that science fiction often lays out is one from where a
group of astronauts, scientists and engineers are sent into space to
establish a base colony on the Moon/Mars. After a few years of
development the colony expands to accomodate other professions
including miners, traders, et al. Life beings to simulate Earth
communities as the early settlers being to have families on the new
planet/colony. And so the story ends happily.
However, I do not see where such an enterprise could get started in
terms of massive financial support which would run into the hundreds
of billions for at least the first decade if the settlement was going
to be an actual colony and not just an outpost. Moreover, even if it
was backed by a Bill Gates or a trans-government entity I do not see
how the colony makes a return for the investment. It is just a
sinkhole. Using the base as an exotic research center or establishing
mining operations are nice to have but they won't recoup hardly any of
the costs and any eventual breakthroughs would take many years if at
all. Unless colony can discover the fountain of youth drug or Earth
resources are so depleted that it make transplanetary shipping cost
effective, I do not see why any rational business or government would
make such a speculative investment.
For the most part, the business model that drove New World colonies
was that sailing companies would be paid by would be (voluntary)
settlers, either upfront or as a portion of their eventual labor, to
make the journey across the Atlantic ocean. The boats were often
barely seaworthy and passenger safety concerns were not a high
priority, esp. for those who paid in advance. Also the crew were
often composed of former naval men, convicts and other low paid
laborers. This model is replicated today is the cases of Chinese
immigrant smuggling.
However, each of these circumstances which made settling so profitable
for the sailing companies would not exist in colonizing space. Either
they would be impractical or intolerable. The space vehicle would
have to be custom built to exacting specifications of tolerance and
performance. The crew would be drawn from the NASA's best. If the
settlers were to be scientists and engineers, they obviously could not
afford to pay the cost there, nor bring their families. And they
would not have any means of earning any money once they landed.
So, I do not see how even the most promising developments that could
have occured since the first Moon landed would have overcome these
impediments.
Ciao.
Martha H Adams
2003-09-03 13:08:53 UTC
Permalink
I see all those mentions of "economics" up this thread; but maybe that
usage is too global. From here, I see a strong candidate for relevant
detail. If the money is there to do bases and settlements on Luna and
Mars, then where does it go?

For an answer, read the news and watch your TV. Guns; tanks;
aircraft; high-technology weapons; etc etc. All grown out of money
stripped out of any other use and spent for these dead-end
applications. Weapons and military technologies burn up money
indirectly but to same effect as shredding it into landfills. If
you've missed my point, where do all those people in all those
restless parts of the world get all those guns and grenade launchers
they are carrying around?

And when did military combat ever build anything? It is so much
easier, and so much more spectacular, to destroy an architectural work
in moments, than to build in over years.

Seems to me, a better explanation for the lack of any forward-looking
space program is simply that in a military vs space economic
competition, space loses. An established armaments industry and
military-industrial complex, sucks up all accessible money, before the
space travel and settlement complex can reach it. The one thrives,
at a price of terrible waste and destruction; the other starves.

Meanwhile, here comes the future. With our human race concentrated in
one small single vulnerable place in all the universe, we are gambling
no astronomical Killer comes along. For whoever is interested, plenty
of warning is there to see. Doesn't anyone know any better? It's a
gamble we will eventually lose.

Cheers, well, maybe not -- Martha Adams
Paul Blay
2003-09-03 15:00:09 UTC
Permalink
"alnilam" wrote ...
Post by Martha H Adams
Weapons and military technologies burn up money
indirectly but to same effect as shredding it into landfills. If
Not true. There is a direct benefit from military expenditure. It's
called freedom.
Yeah, but the _other_ direct 'benefit' from military expenditure is
oppression.

Military expenditure is a (modified) zero sum game. If every country and
organisation bearing arms around the world had its military equipment
halved overnight the net effect would be pretty small. In fact it's easy to
make the case that the change would be positive because oppressive
regimes tend to need forces to keep their populations in line more than
healthy democracies do.

Put it the other way if military equipment world-wide was doubled over-
night the net effect would be small and negative by exactly the same
reasoning.
Scott Lowther
2003-09-04 15:45:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Blay
"alnilam" wrote ...
Post by Martha H Adams
Weapons and military technologies burn up money
indirectly but to same effect as shredding it into landfills. If
Not true. There is a direct benefit from military expenditure. It's
called freedom.
Yeah, but the _other_ direct 'benefit' from military expenditure is
oppression.
Which you don't get in the US, which has the biggest military budget in
the world. Ergo, military expendature /= oppression.
--
Scott Lowther, Engineer

"Any statement by Edward Wright that starts with 'You seem to think
that...' is wrong. Always. It's a law of Usenet, like Godwin's."
- Jorge R. Frank, 11 Nov 2002
Joann Evans
2003-09-04 01:40:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Martha H Adams
I see all those mentions of "economics" up this thread; but maybe that
usage is too global. From here, I see a strong candidate for relevant
detail. If the money is there to do bases and settlements on Luna and
Mars, then where does it go?
For an answer, read the news and watch your TV. Guns; tanks;
aircraft; high-technology weapons; etc etc. All grown out of money
stripped out of any other use and spent for these dead-end
applications. Weapons and military technologies burn up money
indirectly but to same effect as shredding it into landfills.
Virtually all things are replaced, eventually. Had the towers not
been destroyed, in a hundred years, the WTC might well have been
intentionally demolished for something better.
Post by Martha H Adams
If
you've missed my point, where do all those people in all those
restless parts of the world get all those guns and grenade launchers
they are carrying around?
Those aren't B-52's. That level of weaponry isn't that expensive,
even by Third World standards. (And they may even have been provided by
some outside power, with an interest in the outcome. Nothing
historically new there.)
Post by Martha H Adams
And when did military combat ever build anything?
When was that ever the point?
Post by Martha H Adams
It is so much
easier, and so much more spectacular, to destroy an architectural work
in moments, than to build in over years.
Right. So?

"As a matter of cosmic history, it has always been easier to destroy,
than to create." - Star Trek II

Entropy, and all that.

War involves destroying things, not as an end in itself (anybody,
from the Romans, to the US forces in Iraq, would be quite happy if the
opposition surrendered without firing a shot), but as part of the way to
some other goal. The morality of which, you must decide for yourself.
Post by Martha H Adams
Seems to me, a better explanation for the lack of any forward-looking
space program is simply that in a military vs space economic
competition, space loses. An established armaments industry and
military-industrial complex, sucks up all accessible money, before the
space travel and settlement complex can reach it. The one thrives,
at a price of terrible waste and destruction; the other starves.
You're doing a different argument.

If people are willing to spend money on increasingly better
armaments, there's economic incentive to make and sell them. That's all.

*Why* people want increasingly better armaments is a psychological
and sociological question, not an economic one.

If we *wanted* space colonies just as badly, someone would step up
and provide them. But first, you have to believe it *can* be done, then
consider the reasons for doing it. We know weapons can be done, and the
reasons for doing it go back to the above point.
Post by Martha H Adams
Meanwhile, here comes the future. With our human race concentrated in
one small single vulnerable place in all the universe, we are gambling
no astronomical Killer comes along. For whoever is interested, plenty
of warning is there to see. Doesn't anyone know any better? It's a
gamble we will eventually lose.
Cheers, well, maybe not -- Martha Adams
It's tough to get people fired up against an exceedingly rare
(however deadly it would be) natural astronomical phenomena. Now, if
there were ETs *inrentionally* bombarding us, yes, we'd pull out all the
stops...
Joann Evans
2003-09-04 21:53:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joann Evans
It's tough to get people fired up against an exceedingly rare
(however deadly it would be) natural astronomical phenomena. Now, if
there were ETs *inrentionally* bombarding us, yes, we'd pull out all the
stops...
...and movies not withstanding, we'd lose. If "they" have FTL travel,
we're dead. :)
Or even without it. Just having interstellar travel capability, as
well as the the ability to deflect asteroids against a planetary target,
implies technologies we wouldn't be able to do much against. I didn't
say 'pulling out all the stops' would necessairily be enough. It could
end up like the 'War of the Worlds' movie, before the invaders were
infected.

But many people would still rather go down fighting....
Michael Walsh
2003-09-05 00:24:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joann Evans
Post by Joann Evans
It's tough to get people fired up against an exceedingly rare
(however deadly it would be) natural astronomical phenomena. Now, if
there were ETs *inrentionally* bombarding us, yes, we'd pull out all the
stops...
...and movies not withstanding, we'd lose. If "they" have FTL travel,
we're dead. :)
Or even without it. Just having interstellar travel capability, as
well as the the ability to deflect asteroids against a planetary target,
implies technologies we wouldn't be able to do much against. I didn't
say 'pulling out all the stops' would necessairily be enough. It could
end up like the 'War of the Worlds' movie, before the invaders were
infected.
But many people would still rather go down fighting....
I will take the counter-point and say that the hypothetical aliens will
most likely be greatly outnumbered. If they want to stay off-planet and
bombard the earth with asteroids they could destroy us, but if they
wanted to take over the earth for their own purposes that might be
counter-productive.

Perhaps making a deal with some earth group might tickle their
fancy. Something like the main story-line of "The X-Files".

Take a look at it from the other point of view. An earth starship
with a bunch of predatory entrepeneurs (or socialistic governmental
types with a thirst for power) arrive in another solar system and
find an earthlike planet with a large population and a history of
armed conflict.

If you assume some limitations on their propulsion capabilites and
fuel supply, try to figure out how they can exert their will on the
planet. The job looks a bit harder when you try to take
the "alien view".

Mike Walsh
James Nicoll
2003-09-05 13:11:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Walsh
I will take the counter-point and say that the hypothetical aliens will
most likely be greatly outnumbered. If they want to stay off-planet and
bombard the earth with asteroids they could destroy us, but if they
wanted to take over the earth for their own purposes that might be
counter-productive.
Perhaps making a deal with some earth group might tickle their
fancy. Something like the main story-line of "The X-Files".
Or the history of India.
Post by Michael Walsh
Take a look at it from the other point of view. An earth starship
with a bunch of predatory entrepeneurs (or socialistic governmental
types with a thirst for power) arrive in another solar system and
find an earthlike planet with a large population and a history of
armed conflict.
If you assume some limitations on their propulsion capabilites and
fuel supply, try to figure out how they can exert their will on the
planet. The job looks a bit harder when you try to take
the "alien view".
The (Sorry, _a_) Poul Anderson solution was for the small
group of extremely powerful and advanced (by local standards) visitors
to put their services up for bid to the highest seller, carefully
specifying the terms of the contract so that the hyperinflation
after the coming world war that may be triggered by one side
winning will not affect the amount to be paid in real terms.

I suspect the market planets has to be industrial at least
for this to work. An Olmec-Roman-Chinese bidding war may founder
on the various parties not being as paranoid about each other as
the US and SU were about the other.
--
It's amazing how the waterdrops form: a ball of water with an air bubble
inside it and inside of that one more bubble of water. It looks so beautiful
[...]. I realized something: the world is interesting for the man who can
be surprised. -Valentin Lebedev-
Joann Evans
2003-09-04 01:40:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Ordover
This is exactly correct. The limitation to going into space is
economic, not technological - and that may well be the solution to the
Fermi Paradox.
???

So, no civilization, no matter how much more advanced than ours, will
develop the needed technologies for *other* reasons, so as to make any
given degree of space flight virtually trivial? (Composite materials and
small, low power electronics, for example, were not created strictly for
aerospace applications, for example.)

Or at least trivial enough, that pure exploration/science will be an
adequate justification? (Even James VanAllen likely wouldn't turn down a
manned Mars mission if it could be done for just a few tens of
millions.)

I don't claim to have the answer to the Fermi Paradox either (though
I have an opinion or two), but that a civilization only a few percent
older than this one couldn't get into deep space for non-economic
reasons if the commitment was small enough by their very different
standards, is just too hard to believe...

Remember, the people who are bringing you White Knight, started with
homebuilt aircraft. It's not hard for me to imagine something similar in
spacecraft (at least to LEO) inside of this century. Something
completely undoable by anyone, before 1961...
John Ordover
2003-09-04 02:44:21 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 04 Sep 2003 01:40:09 GMT, Joann Evans
Post by Joann Evans
Post by John Ordover
This is exactly correct. The limitation to going into space is
economic, not technological - and that may well be the solution to the
Fermi Paradox.
???
So, no civilization, no matter how much more advanced than ours, will
develop the needed technologies for *other* reasons, so as to make any
given degree of space flight virtually trivial? (Composite materials and
small, low power electronics, for example, were not created strictly for
aerospace applications, for example.)
There is an unproven assumption in the Fermi paradox - that the
technological progress we experienced in the 20th century will
continue at that pace forever - when in fact it's already slowed way
down, with no significant physical breakthroughs since nucleonics.
There is no reason to assume that we aren't near the endpoint of
technilogical advancement when it comes to reducing prices on space
travel. Space travel may always be prohbitively expensive. The
Fermi paradox is only a paradox if you assume "magic" technology on
the part of aliens.
Post by Joann Evans
Or at least trivial enough, that pure exploration/science will be an
adequate justification? (Even James VanAllen likely wouldn't turn down a
manned Mars mission if it could be done for just a few tens of
millions.)
If a civilization expends so much of its inherently restricted
resources on unprofitable things, it either stops doing so or
collapses. It may be that the costs of space travel are irreducable,
and thus space travel is never practical.
Post by Joann Evans
I don't claim to have the answer to the Fermi Paradox either (though
I have an opinion or two), but that a civilization only a few percent
older than this one couldn't get into deep space for non-economic
reasons if the commitment was small enough by their very different
standards, is just too hard to believe...
Why? There is no proof that technological advancement that makes
space travel profitable is achievable under the laws of physics we
live under. In fact, looking at the stiuation objectively, there is
no reason to assume we will ever be able to make a profit on space
travel even just within our own solar system, let alone traveling long
distances at sub-light speed.
Post by Joann Evans
Remember, the people who are bringing you White Knight, started with
homebuilt aircraft. It's not hard for me to imagine something similar in
spacecraft (at least to LEO) inside of this century. Something
completely undoable by anyone, before 1961...
I'll believe it when I see it. Been hearing about this stuff for
-decades-.
Joann Evans
2003-09-04 21:53:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Ordover
On Thu, 04 Sep 2003 01:40:09 GMT, Joann Evans
Post by Joann Evans
Post by John Ordover
This is exactly correct. The limitation to going into space is
economic, not technological - and that may well be the solution to the
Fermi Paradox.
???
So, no civilization, no matter how much more advanced than ours, will
develop the needed technologies for *other* reasons, so as to make any
given degree of space flight virtually trivial? (Composite materials and
small, low power electronics, for example, were not created strictly for
aerospace applications, for example.)
There is an unproven assumption in the Fermi paradox - that the
technological progress we experienced in the 20th century will
continue at that pace forever - when in fact it's already slowed way
down, with no significant physical breakthroughs since nucleonics.
Progress doesn't necessairily (or even usually) equal new physics. Do
you suggest that we've done all we can, withing known physics?
Nanotechnology enthusiasts, for example, are frequently required to show
that what they propose *is* possible within known physical law. And then
there's biotechnology, computing, controlled fusion, etc. All of which
exist, to varying degrees, all of which are likely to see continued
deveopment and application, none of which require advances in physics.

Just new engineering.
Post by John Ordover
There is no reason to assume that we aren't near the endpoint of
technilogical advancement when it comes to reducing prices on space
travel.
I see no reason to assume we are, either. Again, we're not even close
to milking dry that which we already know is theoretically possible.

All I will acknowledge is that some of them may not prove to be
*practical* at a given level of engineering capability.
Post by John Ordover
Space travel may always be prohbitively expensive.
Again, it's much to soon to make such an assertion, as we've been at
tis for less than 50 years, and not going about it in the most efficent
way, at that. (I wonder what the Phoenicians whould think of fiberglass
huills, or even just steam powered ships?)
Post by John Ordover
The
Fermi paradox is only a paradox if you assume "magic" technology on
the part of aliens.
Only in the sense that Arthur Clarke, and the late Robert Forward use
the word.
Post by John Ordover
Post by Joann Evans
Or at least trivial enough, that pure exploration/science will be an
adequate justification? (Even James VanAllen likely wouldn't turn down a
manned Mars mission if it could be done for just a few tens of
millions.)
If a civilization expends so much of its inherently restricted
resources on unprofitable things, it either stops doing so or
collapses.
What restrictions do you assume? Those existing here and now? Even if
we discount asteroid mining, there may be better ways of utilizing one's
planetary resources.

And note again that not all things are done with profit in mind.
Someone may make money selling me skis, but *I* may not plan to use them
in a profitable way. There continue to be such things as entertainment
and exercise, or I may be part of a cold-weather rescue team. Government
supported emergency resonders don't operate at a profit, either.
Post by John Ordover
It may be that the costs of space travel are irreducable,
and thus space travel is never practical.
I still believe this is like saying the same of air travel in, say,
1905.
Post by John Ordover
Post by Joann Evans
I don't claim to have the answer to the Fermi Paradox either (though
I have an opinion or two), but that a civilization only a few percent
older than this one couldn't get into deep space for non-economic
reasons if the commitment was small enough by their very different
standards, is just too hard to believe...
Why? There is no proof that technological advancement that makes
space travel profitable is achievable under the laws of physics we
live under.
And I'm still waiting for you to present proof to the contrary.

Do you seriously believe rocket development has reached the end of
the line?
Post by John Ordover
In fact, looking at the stiuation objectively, there is
no reason to assume we will ever be able to make a profit on space
travel even just within our own solar system, let alone traveling long
distances at sub-light speed.
Post by Joann Evans
Remember, the people who are bringing you White Knight, started with
homebuilt aircraft. It's not hard for me to imagine something similar in
spacecraft (at least to LEO) inside of this century. Something
completely undoable by anyone, before 1961...
I'll believe it when I see it. Been hearing about this stuff for
-decades-.
(shrug) It's not yet gone above 100 km, but it's flying. And when it
does, it will do so with no new physics, just clever engineering.
John Ordover
2003-09-05 03:05:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joann Evans
Post by John Ordover
I'll believe it when I see it. Been hearing about this stuff for
-decades-.
(shrug) It's not yet gone above 100 km, but it's flying. And when it
does, it will do so with no new physics, just clever engineering.
My point is that 1) IMHO, it will take breakthrough in physics on the
order of pre-vs-post electromagnetism or pre-vs-post nucleonics to
make space travel cheaper. Do I think rocket technology has maxed
out? No. Do I think even a hundred--fold decrese in rocket costs
will make space travel profitable? Nope. Why? Because there isn't
anything out there we are willing to pay enough to go out and get and
bring back, nor any way to live off the land.

Like I keep saying - the technology to build a moonbase has existed
since 1969, but no private concern has done so -because it is
cost-prohibitive.- This is despite having proven technology
-in-hand-. There's just no profit in going to the Moon, to Mars, or
anywhere else in space.

If I were in charge of NASA, I'd be setting up a program to place
semi-permanent scanning satelites over the other planets and
interested bodies like Titan or Europa. That's the most reasonable,
most cost-effective scientific approach, and who knows, maybe we'll
find something worth going to get. :)
Paul F. Dietz
2003-09-05 03:25:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Ordover
My point is that 1) IMHO, it will take breakthrough in physics on the
order of pre-vs-post electromagnetism or pre-vs-post nucleonics to
make space travel cheaper.
*Cost* is a function of manufacturing productivity. Therefore, we
can expect the cost to go down, even if no new physics is discovered.

Or are you saying that current manufacturing technology is at the maximum
cost effectiveness allowed by the laws of physics?

Paul
Tom Merkle
2003-09-05 10:46:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul F. Dietz
Post by John Ordover
My point is that 1) IMHO, it will take breakthrough in physics on the
order of pre-vs-post electromagnetism or pre-vs-post nucleonics to
make space travel cheaper.
*Cost* is a function of manufacturing productivity. Therefore, we
can expect the cost to go down, even if no new physics is discovered.
Or are you saying that current manufacturing technology is at the maximum
cost effectiveness allowed by the laws of physics?
Paul
Baloney. Manufacturing productivity is utterly dependant on demand. If
demand stops increasing, regardless of what happens to technology,
price doesn't go down significantly, unless you're moving tremendous
volume. I doubt anyone would consider the current launch rate to be a
price sustaining volume.

Tom Merkle
John Ordover
2003-09-05 23:03:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul F. Dietz
Post by John Ordover
My point is that 1) IMHO, it will take breakthrough in physics on the
order of pre-vs-post electromagnetism or pre-vs-post nucleonics to
make space travel cheaper.
*Cost* is a function of manufacturing productivity. Therefore, we
can expect the cost to go down, even if no new physics is discovered.
Or are you saying that current manufacturing technology is at the maximum
cost effectiveness allowed by the laws of physics?
Paul
No, I"m saying that the profit potential in space travel is so low
that any reasonable projection as to the increase in manufacuring
productivity won't be enough to compensate for the low return.
Paul F. Dietz
2003-09-06 14:36:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Ordover
No, I"m saying that the profit potential in space travel is so low
that any reasonable projection as to the increase in manufacuring
productivity won't be enough to compensate for the low return.
There you go. Your weasel word 'reasonable' is just a cloak
for your own prejudices.

Paul
John Ordover
2003-09-07 01:21:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul F. Dietz
Post by John Ordover
No, I"m saying that the profit potential in space travel is so low
that any reasonable projection as to the increase in manufacuring
productivity won't be enough to compensate for the low return.
There you go. Your weasel word 'reasonable' is just a cloak
for your own prejudices.
Paul
Well, whose prejudices would I have except my own?:)
Rand Simberg
2003-09-11 18:48:56 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 04 Sep 2003 22:25:33 -0500, in a place far, far away, "Paul F.
Post by Paul F. Dietz
Post by John Ordover
My point is that 1) IMHO, it will take breakthrough in physics on the
order of pre-vs-post electromagnetism or pre-vs-post nucleonics to
make space travel cheaper.
*Cost* is a function of manufacturing productivity. Therefore, we
can expect the cost to go down, even if no new physics is discovered.
Or are you saying that current manufacturing technology is at the maximum
cost effectiveness allowed by the laws of physics?
I don't think that he knows what he's saying. He's been watching too
much Star Trek.
--
simberg.interglobal.org * 310 372-7963 (CA) 307 739-1296 (Jackson Hole)
interglobal space lines * 307 733-1715 (Fax) http://www.interglobal.org

"Extraordinary launch vehicles require extraordinary markets..."
Swap the first . and @ and throw out the ".trash" to email me.
Here's my email address for autospammers: ***@fbi.gov
Alan Anderson
2003-09-04 03:38:25 UTC
Permalink
Please pardon the third-person usage here. I have Ordover filtered out,
so I won't be talking directly to him.
Post by John Ordover
This is exactly correct. The limitation to going into space is
economic, not technological - and that may well be the solution to the
Fermi Paradox.
Quietly, with no great fanfare, John Ordover has finally abandoned his
claim that space travel requires more advanced technology than we have.
That's something, at least.

I note with some dismay that he seems now to be claiming that "economic
limitations" are ultimately insurmountable, suggesting them as the reason
we don't see evidence of other civilizations in the universe.

Since he has never accepted that DirecTV and the like are actually
profitable companies, and that people do actually pay money for
high-speed, high-altitude "joyrides", I fear his personal "reality" is
still disconnected from the real world.
Earl Colby Pottinger
2003-09-04 10:32:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alan Anderson
Please pardon the third-person usage here. I have Ordover filtered out,
so I won't be talking directly to him.
Post by John Ordover
This is exactly correct. The limitation to going into space is
economic, not technological - and that may well be the solution to the
Fermi Paradox.
Quietly, with no great fanfare, John Ordover has finally abandoned his
claim that space travel requires more advanced technology than we have.
That's something, at least.
I note with some dismay that he seems now to be claiming that "economic
limitations" are ultimately insurmountable, suggesting them as the reason
we don't see evidence of other civilizations in the universe.
Since he has never accepted that DirecTV and the like are actually
profitable companies, and that people do actually pay money for
high-speed, high-altitude "joyrides", I fear his personal "reality" is
still disconnected from the real world.
Noticed that too I see.

First his claims were that no space business could make money without a
'Major' breakthru in technology. And like you said he spent a lot of time
trying to dismiss companies that make money right now.

Now he claim there needs to be an economic breakthru - one that he saw no
need for before.

Simply put, John Ordover seems scared that private people will make it into
space. You will also notice that he advoids as much as possible the proof
that people do things for non-economic reasons. Using his logic not a single
cruise ship could sail, not a single theme park could be built and not a
single movie would play. And all people would demand a material return on
every penny they spent.

Earl Colby Pottinger
--
I make public email sent to me! Hydrogen Peroxide Rockets, OpenBeos,
SerialTransfer 3.0, RAMDISK, BoatBuilding, DIY TabletPC. What happened to
the time? http://webhome.idirect.com/~earlcp
John Ordover
2003-09-04 13:26:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Earl Colby Pottinger
Simply put, John Ordover seems scared that private people will make it into
space. You will also notice that he advoids as much as possible the proof
that people do things for non-economic reasons. Using his logic not a single
cruise ship could sail, not a single theme park could be built and not a
single movie would play. And all people would demand a material return on
every penny they spent.
Earl Colby Pottinger
People as a whole do not do things for non-economic reasons. Things
done for non-economic reasons are called "hobbies" and people spend
precious little time and energy on them, compared to economic
activity.

All I'm asking you guys to do, frankly, is not to claim as reality
anything you can't show happening.
Earl Colby Pottinger
2003-09-04 20:02:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Martha H Adams
Post by Earl Colby Pottinger
Simply put, John Ordover seems scared that private people will make it into
space. You will also notice that he advoids as much as possible the proof
that people do things for non-economic reasons. Using his logic not a
single
Post by Earl Colby Pottinger
cruise ship could sail, not a single theme park could be built and not a
single movie would play. And all people would demand a material return on
every penny they spent.
Earl Colby Pottinger
People as a whole do not do things for non-economic reasons. Things
done for non-economic reasons are called "hobbies" and people spend
precious little time and energy on them, compared to economic
activity.
Still lying to yourself I see. Hobbies only? What is sports then? What are
vacations then? What are movies then? The fact remains people spend
billions maybe over a tillion dollars in total every year on these
non-economic activities. The fact that you do like to admit does not change
one thing. There is money out there
Post by Martha H Adams
All I'm asking you guys to do, frankly, is not to claim as reality
anything you can't show happening.
Still not facing up to reality are you? Money is money. You still trying to
claim if something does not exist it must be impossible. That make you a
fool. You also try to claim that people will not spend money on non-economic
items, when in the real world people spend billions on just an experience.
Than make you a double fool.

Why are you so scare of the space? Why are you so scared of the truth? Is
your world really so small?

Earl Colby Pottinger
--
I make public email sent to me! Hydrogen Peroxide Rockets, OpenBeos,
SerialTransfer 3.0, RAMDISK, BoatBuilding, DIY TabletPC. What happened to
the time? http://webhome.idirect.com/~earlcp
Earl Colby Pottinger
2003-09-04 20:19:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Ordover
Post by Earl Colby Pottinger
Simply put, John Ordover seems scared that private people will make it into
space. You will also notice that he avoids as much as possible the proof
that people do things for non-economic reasons. Using his logic not a
single cruise ship could sail, not a single theme park could be built and
not a single movie would play. And all people would demand a material
return on every penny they spent.
Earl Colby Pottinger
People as a whole do not do things for non-economic reasons. Things
done for non-economic reasons are called "hobbies" and people spend
precious little time and energy on them, compared to economic
activity.
Still lying to yourself I see. Hobbies only? Since when has going on a
cruise ship become a hobby? And people go to theme parks because it is a
hobby? Movies are hobbies to most people? You have a strange definition of
the word to me. What are sports then? What are vacations then? What are
movies/theatre then? The fact remains people spend billions, maybe over a
trillion dollars in total every year on these non-economic activities. The
fact that you don't like to admit this does not change one single thing.
There is money out there for non-economic activities and a darn lot of it too.
Post by John Ordover
All I'm asking you guys to do, frankly, is not to claim as reality
anything you can't show happening.
Still not facing up to reality are you? Money is money. You still trying to
claim if something does not exist it must be impossible. That make you a
fool. You also try to claim that people will not spend money on non-economic
items, when in the real world people spend billions on just an experience.
That makes you a double-fool.

Why are you so scare of the space? Why are you so scared of the truth? Is
your world really so small?

Earl Colby Pottinger
--
I make public email sent to me! Hydrogen Peroxide Rockets, OpenBeos,
SerialTransfer 3.0, RAMDISK, BoatBuilding, DIY TabletPC. What happened to
the time? http://webhome.idirect.com/~earlcp
John Ordover
2003-09-04 13:24:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alan Anderson
Please pardon the third-person usage here. I have Ordover filtered out,
so I won't be talking directly to him.
Why bother to filter me out if you keep responding anyway?
Post by Alan Anderson
Post by John Ordover
This is exactly correct. The limitation to going into space is
economic, not technological - and that may well be the solution to the
Fermi Paradox.
Quietly, with no great fanfare, John Ordover has finally abandoned his
claim that space travel requires more advanced technology than we have.
That's something, at least.
Not at all - what I'm saying is that more advanced technology is still
mandatory, and that we don't have it, and may -never- have it, because
it may not be physically possible. If the latter is true, then that's
the Fermi solution - that space travel on any significant level is
simply too impractical for any species, no matter "advanced" to spend
much time on.
Post by Alan Anderson
I note with some dismay that he seems now to be claiming that "economic
limitations" are ultimately insurmountable, suggesting them as the reason
we don't see evidence of other civilizations in the universe.
They may well be.
Post by Alan Anderson
Since he has never accepted that DirecTV and the like are actually
profitable companies, and that people do actually pay money for
high-speed, high-altitude "joyrides", I fear his personal "reality" is
still disconnected from the real world.
What comsats have to do with the Fermi paradox I'm not sure. Like I
keep saying, I'll believe it when I see it.
G EddieA95
2003-09-04 14:13:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Ordover
- that space travel on any significant level is
simply too impractical for any species, no matter "advanced" to spend
much time on.
Would that not depend on the conditions of their planet? Ie, a shallower
gravity-well, neighboring habitable planets, and a nearer stellar neighborhood
might make for a completely different space-travel equation than we have.

(FWIW, I believe that had Mars been human-livable as projected in midcentury
SF, a manned ship would have gone there by 1981. Mars is no use to present-day
humans or their societies, so there are no plans to go there or perfect the
technology.)
Joann Evans
2003-09-04 21:53:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Ordover
Post by Alan Anderson
Please pardon the third-person usage here. I have Ordover filtered out,
so I won't be talking directly to him.
Why bother to filter me out if you keep responding anyway?
Post by Alan Anderson
Post by John Ordover
This is exactly correct. The limitation to going into space is
economic, not technological - and that may well be the solution to the
Fermi Paradox.
Quietly, with no great fanfare, John Ordover has finally abandoned his
claim that space travel requires more advanced technology than we have.
That's something, at least.
Not at all - what I'm saying is that more advanced technology is still
mandatory, and that we don't have it, and may -never- have it, because
it may not be physically possible.
But again, remeber, 'more advanced technology' doesn't equal 'new
physics.'

A Pentium 4 does prettu much the same thing with silicon as an 8080.
Just more, smaller and faster. And that's quite enough to do things that
aren't possible or practical on the old 8-bit processors.

The Wright plane and a 747 use the same atmosphere, and the same laws
of aerodynamics. The former wasn't meant or expected to pe profitable.
The latter surely is.
Post by John Ordover
If the latter is true, then that's
the Fermi solution - that space travel on any significant level is
simply too impractical for any species, no matter "advanced" to spend
much time on.
And it's *far* too soon to make that declaration on behalf of the
rest of the Universe....
Sander Vesik
2003-09-05 01:58:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joann Evans
But again, remeber, 'more advanced technology' doesn't equal 'new
physics.'
A Pentium 4 does prettu much the same thing with silicon as an 8080.
Just more, smaller and faster. And that's quite enough to do things that
aren't possible or practical on the old 8-bit processors.
Pentium 4 does not do the same thing with silicon as 8080. I really want
to know where people get this idea from. And if not the .65 nm chip
generation for which plants are being made/designed now, then the
generation after that will again be doing completely different things
to silicon compared to Pentium 4. The fact that both 8080 and pentium 4
have transistors on-chip is not really a reliable indication of what
happens to silicon
Post by Joann Evans
The Wright plane and a 747 use the same atmosphere, and the same laws
of aerodynamics. The former wasn't meant or expected to pe profitable.
The latter surely is.
Post by John Ordover
If the latter is true, then that's
the Fermi solution - that space travel on any significant level is
simply too impractical for any species, no matter "advanced" to spend
much time on.
And it's *far* too soon to make that declaration on behalf of the
rest of the Universe....
Its not clear we can even make that claim about humanity in not too
distant future with any certanity.
--
Sander

+++ Out of cheese error +++
Joann Evans
2003-09-05 03:12:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sander Vesik
Post by Joann Evans
But again, remeber, 'more advanced technology' doesn't equal 'new
physics.'
A Pentium 4 does prettu much the same thing with silicon as an 8080.
Just more, smaller and faster. And that's quite enough to do things that
aren't possible or practical on the old 8-bit processors.
Pentium 4 does not do the same thing with silicon as 8080. I really want
to know where people get this idea from. And if not the .65 nm chip
generation for which plants are being made/designed now, then the
generation after that will again be doing completely different things
to silicon compared to Pentium 4. The fact that both 8080 and pentium 4
have transistors on-chip is not really a reliable indication of what
happens to silicon
By that, I meant that either one is still using doped silicon
semiconductors to switch electrical currents for computationa purposes.
Dopants may be different (I'll accept any corrections on that score.)
Manufacturing techniques are *certainly* different.

And that's exactly what I meant about being able to do more, via
better engineering, within the *same* known laws of physics.

And profitably.

Otherwise, one has to think that we reached the end of rocket
performance, soon after Chinese fireworks. We *know* we could do things
like gas-core nuclear rockets, *possibly* Nuclear Salt Water Rockets and
fusion rockets. How practical or economical (or politically acceptable,
in the case of a gas-core or NSWR NTR), remains to be seen), but it's
safe to say we've not seen the end of performance of this application of
Newton's Third Law.
Sander Vesik
2003-09-05 14:10:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joann Evans
Post by Sander Vesik
Post by Joann Evans
But again, remeber, 'more advanced technology' doesn't equal 'new
physics.'
A Pentium 4 does prettu much the same thing with silicon as an 8080.
Just more, smaller and faster. And that's quite enough to do things that
aren't possible or practical on the old 8-bit processors.
Pentium 4 does not do the same thing with silicon as 8080. I really want
to know where people get this idea from. And if not the .65 nm chip
generation for which plants are being made/designed now, then the
generation after that will again be doing completely different things
to silicon compared to Pentium 4. The fact that both 8080 and pentium 4
have transistors on-chip is not really a reliable indication of what
happens to silicon
By that, I meant that either one is still using doped silicon
semiconductors to switch electrical currents for computationa purposes.
Dopants may be different (I'll accept any corrections on that score.)
Manufacturing techniques are *certainly* different.
Yes, well, we'll still be using silicon for several more generations
(though at some point it might be a switchover to carbon nanotubes or
diamond). Most things presently used (SOI, copper interconnect, etc)
were not even in the dreams back then. And most people didn't belive
you could make as small transistors as we make now.
Post by Joann Evans
And that's exactly what I meant about being able to do more, via
better engineering, within the *same* known laws of physics.
And profitably.
Otherwise, one has to think that we reached the end of rocket
performance, soon after Chinese fireworks. We *know* we could do things
like gas-core nuclear rockets, *possibly* Nuclear Salt Water Rockets and
fusion rockets. How practical or economical (or politically acceptable,
in the case of a gas-core or NSWR NTR), remains to be seen), but it's
safe to say we've not seen the end of performance of this application of
Newton's Third Law.
Sure. But not with chemical rockets which is what P4 is mostly the same
as 8080 implies. If 8080 is present day chemical rockets, then P4 would
be something like a ion engined cruise ship with 1g acceleration.
Or something like that.
--
Sander

+++ Out of cheese error +++
R***@YahooGroups.Com
2003-09-05 10:06:59 UTC
Permalink
{{Date: Thu, 04 Sep 2003 13:24:30 GMT
From: John Ordover <***@verizon.net>
what I'm saying is that more advanced technology is still mandatory,
and that we don't have it, and may -never- have it, because it may
not be physically possible.}}

I make the following claims:
- If ten percent of the net value of a single company (MicroSoft) were
invested in tele-operated Lunar mining/processing/manufacturing
infrastructure, we could study the material in the Lunar polar abyss,
extract hydrogen and/or water form it, and if water then via
electrolysis obtain hydrogen, and we can use the hydrogen to extract
oxygen from ordinary regolith, and using some
chemical/thermal/mechanical/electric process-combination we can
separate some of the metals from each other, and we can refine these
into useful construction materials.
- We can then use teleoperation with the above materials to fabricate
useful equipment, including more chemical-processing equipment, i.e.
bootstrap the infrastructure into exponential growth (assuming
sufficient tele-operators set up on Earth to work all the Lunar
equipment simultaneously).
- Such exponential growth will eventually reach the level where we can
tele-build some kind of mass-launcher, whereby Lunar materials (both
raw and refined) can be tossed into space and thereby made available
for orbiting tele-operated manufacturing facilities.
- Using such in-orbit manufacturing infrastructure, we can tele-build
large solar-power satellites, and we can build large interplanetary
robotic ships (using micro-computers launched from Earth).
- These robotic ships can then rendezvous with asteroids and collect
materials such as those loose boulders seen on 433 Eros, and return
them to Earth/Lunar orbit to include them in the mix with Lunar
materials for further manufacturing. This will result in exponential
growth of asteroid mining etc. infrastructure.
- When the exponential growth gets sufficiently large, we'll be able to
build enough orbiting solar-power collecting stations to make a 50%
equivalent Dyson sphere. This will provide enough power on a continuous
basis to send probes and then generation ships to other star systems.
In this way we'll be able to bootstrap our robotic infrastructure and
living beings to most of the other starts within our galaxy and
neighboring galaxies, building an orbiting-SPS Dyson-sphere-equivalent
around most of the starts in all these galaxies.

For each point I claim above, do you agree to stipulate, or disagree
with solid proof or convincing argument, or do you merely diagree but
have no proof or argument and thereby believe we don't yet know if it's
possible or not and we should wait until we've tried it before saying
if we can or cannot do it?

For each point I claim where you say wait-and-see, do you think we
should go ahead and fund the research to find out the answer, or not
bother to do any research and never know for sure?

Note, all the above is asking what is *possible* to implement
effectively, so that after R&D is done and the infrastructure is in
place it actually does achieve the product I claim. We are not at this
point asking where all the seed money will come from to get this
process started.

{{If the latter is true, then that's the Fermi solution - that space
travel on any significant level is simply too impractical for any
species, no matter "advanced" to spend much time on.}}

I claim that if my claims above are true, that humans already know
basically how to do all the things I claim, then other technological
spacefaring life if any exists probably likewise could follow such a
plan (if any have a large moon orbiting their home planet which they
can use for initial resources, plus their star system has lots of
asteroids to use for the main supply of materials). I claim this
refutes your Fermi solution. (Although it doesn't refute your other
Fermi solution, that although such is technologically possible, there's
no source of seed money for getting the process started. I refute that
Fermi solution elsewhere, for example Bill Gates setting up
tele-operated contests on Luna, thereby using Luna for entertainment.)

{{What comsats have to do with the Fermi paradox I'm not sure.}}

Comsats are used mostly to provide entertainment: Relay of
broadcast-network and cable-network and DirecTV programming. Relay of
InterNet traffic which is mostly used for chat rooms and Web browsing
and downloading pornography and newsgroups and other discussion forums.
These comsats provide a market for launch capability and high-tech
electronics capability including long-distance communication. Likewise,
other forms of entertainment, such as some of the ideas I proposed for
tele-operated Lunar contests and game-playing, could in the future
provide money to support Lunar resource mining etc. If any other stars
have planets with large moon and asteroids and technological life, they
probably also have what they consider entertainment and might fund some
of their R&D in that way too, thereby refuting your seed-money solution
to Fermi paradox.

In any region of space, which started with a Big Bang at a finite time
in the past, if there ever is any advanced civliization, then one of
them must be the first. The time at which any given planet gets to our
point is random over a period of several billion years, hence typically
spaced apart by millions of years, whereas once one gets to the first
Dyson sphere it takes only a few hundred thousand years more to the
point of filling of the entire galaxy with Dyson spheres and thereby
making it impossible for any other life in the galaxy to do a similar
thing. So whichever is the first, precludes all laters, and thereby
becomes the only. My solution to the Fermi paradox is that in our own
galaxy and neighboring galaxies, we by chance are the first (not
counting any that got to our point long ago then died out before
achieving their first Dyson sphere), and if we don't die out before we
achieve our Dyson sphere, we will fill our galaxy and preclude all
others that would come after us. Someday as we fill our galaxy and
explore every little planet around every star, we will learn whether
any others before us got to our point then died out. Or we will die out
and some new technological civilization after us will reach our point
and wonder about the Fermi paradox, then either fill the galaxy or die
out. Either we or some later one will fill our galaxy, or nobody will
ever fill our galaxy.
John Ordover
2003-09-05 23:09:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by R***@YahooGroups.Com
{{Date: Thu, 04 Sep 2003 13:24:30 GMT
what I'm saying is that more advanced technology is still mandatory,
and that we don't have it, and may -never- have it, because it may
not be physically possible.}}
- If ten percent of the net value of a single company (MicroSoft) were
invested in tele-operated Lunar mining/processing/manufacturing
infrastructure,
It never will be. Companies don't invest in anything that risky and
with that low a chance of payoff. What could you mine on the Moon
that would be worth shipping back to Earth? And so on - you have to
show how the money is bird-in-the-hand to interest a company.
R***@YahooGroups.Com
2003-09-07 08:36:50 UTC
Permalink
{{Date: Fri, 05 Sep 2003 23:09:27 GMT
From: John Ordover <***@verizon.net>
Companies don't invest in anything that risky and with that low a
chance of payoff.}}

What is your estimate of the chance of eventual payoff from investment
in Lunar resource mining/processing? My personal estimate is nearly
100% chance of successful operations within five years, and nearly 100%
chance that at least one of the markets listed below will actually
return a profit, providing that the original investor does it quickly
enough to preclude others getting into the field before the first
company can reach breakeven return-on-investment point. A big company
such as MicroSoft has the best chance of investing fast enough, and a
computer-software/networking company such as MicroSoft has the best
chance of getting early profit from tele-operated contests/games and
other "fun" experiences that many many people might want to try just a
little bit for variety (spice of life). (If a hundred million MicroSoft
users spend $5 each to play Lunar games, that's half a billion dollars
early income to offset investment.)

{{What could you mine on the Moon that would be worth shipping back to
Earth?}}

At present, nothing. But there's already a market in Earth orbit, both
GEO and LEO, for various consumables and equipment. All the
infrastructure is owned by people on Earth, so all the money changes
hands on Earth, but the physical delivery location is in orbit not on
Earth. At present it is very expensive to launch stuff from Earth, and
it's likely to remain expensive for many years. So if we can launch
from Luna instead, depending on the cost it might be cheaper than
launching from Earth. Here are some examples of materials that could be
produced on Luna and then tossed into space:

For GEO-located communiations satellites: Fuel for station-keeping,
structural elements for larger antennas and the support to hold them in
desired positions relative to each other.

For ISS in LEO: Fuel for re-boosting to avoid premature de-orbit,
water, oxygen, chemicals for air/water purification system, food,
structural elements for solar-energy collectors, low-tech storage
modules for swapping out stuff that isn't needed at the moment to allow
more "elbow room" in the regular modules, raw materials for experiments
in space manufacturing, structural elements to support extra-vehicular
tele-operated manufacturing, pressurized modules for tele-operated
manufacturing that can't be done in a vacuum, pressurized modules for
custom-food growing using raw biomass from Luna.

Between-orbit (in future, when space-tug is operational): Fuel for
space tug (automated/tele-operated/robotic orbital transfer vehicle).

From-orbit: Fuel and reaction mass for deep-space probes including
outgoing trip of asteroid mining experiments, structural elements for
mass-driver to be used in lieu of traditional rocket engines, food,
water, oxygen, etc. for manned deep-space mission such as to Mars or
asteroid.

Beamed to Earth: Solar power satellites, with high-tech parts from
Earth but all the rest from Luna.
John Ordover
2003-09-07 10:33:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by R***@YahooGroups.Com
{{Date: Fri, 05 Sep 2003 23:09:27 GMT
Companies don't invest in anything that risky and with that low a
chance of payoff.}}
What is your estimate of the chance of eventual payoff from investment
in Lunar resource mining/processing? My personal estimate is nearly
100% chance of successful operations within five years, and nearly 100%
chance that at least one of the markets listed below will actually
return a profit, providing that the original investor does it quickly
enough to preclude others getting into the field before the first
company can reach breakeven return-on-investment point. A big company
such as MicroSoft has the best chance of investing fast enough, and a
computer-software/networking company such as MicroSoft has the best
chance of getting early profit from tele-operated contests/games and
other "fun" experiences that many many people might want to try just a
little bit for variety (spice of life). (If a hundred million MicroSoft
users spend $5 each to play Lunar games, that's half a billion dollars
early income to offset investment.)
{{What could you mine on the Moon that would be worth shipping back to
Earth?}}
At present, nothing. But there's already a market in Earth orbit, both
GEO and LEO, for various consumables and equipment. All the
infrastructure is owned by people on Earth, so all the money changes
hands on Earth, but the physical delivery location is in orbit not on
Earth. At present it is very expensive to launch stuff from Earth, and
it's likely to remain expensive for many years. So if we can launch
from Luna instead, depending on the cost it might be cheaper than
launching from Earth. Here are some examples of materials that could be
For GEO-located communiations satellites: Fuel for station-keeping,
structural elements for larger antennas and the support to hold them in
desired positions relative to each other.
For ISS in LEO: Fuel for re-boosting to avoid premature de-orbit,
water, oxygen, chemicals for air/water purification system, food,
structural elements for solar-energy collectors, low-tech storage
modules for swapping out stuff that isn't needed at the moment to allow
more "elbow room" in the regular modules, raw materials for experiments
in space manufacturing, structural elements to support extra-vehicular
tele-operated manufacturing, pressurized modules for tele-operated
manufacturing that can't be done in a vacuum, pressurized modules for
custom-food growing using raw biomass from Luna.
Between-orbit (in future, when space-tug is operational): Fuel for
space tug (automated/tele-operated/robotic orbital transfer vehicle).
From-orbit: Fuel and reaction mass for deep-space probes including
outgoing trip of asteroid mining experiments, structural elements for
mass-driver to be used in lieu of traditional rocket engines, food,
water, oxygen, etc. for manned deep-space mission such as to Mars or
asteroid.
Beamed to Earth: Solar power satellites, with high-tech parts from
Earth but all the rest from Luna.
I'm sorry, but the above doesn't pass the reality test. Just the cost
of getting the equipment to do the above into space starts to quickly
approach multiple billions, not even counting the R and D necessary to
learn out to do the various things you're talking about we don't know
how to do - like to mine and smelt with no atmosphere, no water, no
air, and the like. That's only a start. What do you do when you're
short on that one particular screw that holds a vital piece of
equipment together - order one from Earth? How will the people
working on the Moon -eat-? To whom will you sell all this fuel, and
at what price? If you're going to undercut the current prices, what
will you do when the Earth-based companies slash their prices just
long enough to put you out of business? What asteroid mining
experients are you talking about - no one is doing them or interested
in doing them. No one is interested in manufacutring in space because
all the customers are on Earth. Some of the components you mention
aren't raw materials, but require multi-stage processing, storage, and
storage in special equipment - you going to make that on the Moon?

Where's the proof-of-concept of even tele-operated games? They are
doable here on Earth, and I don't see anyone making money off them -
they don't seem to exist (for example, tele-operated racing cars are
certainly possible, but I don't see them - why? Because virtual stuff
doesn't need to be repaired when it blows up, and is far more
compelling.

You're compounding fantasy on fantasy, with false assumptions all the
way through.
R***@YahooGroups.Com
2003-09-08 05:36:47 UTC
Permalink
{{Date: Sun, 07 Sep 2003 10:33:27 GMT
From: John Ordover <***@verizon.net>
Just the cost of getting the equipment to do the above into space
starts to quickly approach multiple billions}}

Is it possible you didn't bother to read what I wrote? The only
equipment you need to launch to space (from Earth) would be the first
generation of Lunar mining etc. equipment, plus any replacements for
stuff that breaks down before bootstrap replication of Lunar equipment
can be reached. The only other components that need to be launched from
Earth would be computer chips and the like. The actual backplane,
wiring, etc. would all be made from Lunar materials. The bulk physical
components such as solar reflectors, piping, tanks, levers, etc. would
all be made from Lunar materials.

{{not even counting the R and D necessary to learn out to do the
various things you're talking about we don't know how to do - like to
mine and smelt with no atmosphere, no water, no air, and the like.}}

There's probably lots of water availble, either directly in frozen form
in the abyss, or if the hydrogen is in some other form then by
combining the hydrogen with the oxygen that is everpresent in Luna
regolith. We do very much need in situ measurements of that hydrogen,
to conform the orbital scans and to determine the density and form,
before we begin my plan to mine that abyss material and make water from
it. If it turns out LP (Lunar Prospector) was mistaken, there's no
significant hydrogen there, my plan needs to be re-evaluated. But
virtually everyone in the Space industry believes LP was correct and
we'll find the hydrogen when we look for it. In fact I'm one of the
most pessimistic/cautious people about that fact, wishing we'd go find
that hydrogen already instead of just trusting it's there.

All chemical processing would occur inside sealed vessels. It's trivial
to introduce one of the various available gasses, depending on the
desired atmospheric characteristics: Oxygen, Hydrogen, water vapor,
CO2, N2, NH3, CH4, CO, etc. all of which are likely to be obtainable
from the Lunar polar abyss.

{{What do you do when you're short on that one particular screw that
holds a vital piece of equipment together - order one from Earth?}}

Yes. Normally you'd have several sets of spares on such crucial parts
not yet manufacturable on Luna. As they are depleted, you send a new
set of spare parts, whatever parts are in most short supply and likely
to run out soon. But if one particular critical part breaks down so
much that the last spare has been used before the next re-supply
flight, then your equipment sits idle while waiting up to three days
for the next set of spare parts from Earth.

{{How will the people working on the Moon -eat-?}}

Apparently you didn't read any of what I wrote. During the intial
stages, and maybe indefinitely, there wouldn't be any people living on
Luna. All the initial stages of mining/processing/manufacturing would
be accomplished by tele-operation with some true robotics where
feasible.

{{To whom will you sell all this fuel, and at what price?}}

To whomever has anything in space that is refuelable and running short
on fuel. Or you run your own space-tug service, where you use your own
fuel in your own vehicles to supply the change-orbit service for
companies that don't have their own space tugs but do have satellites
and deep-space probes in need of delta-vee.

{{If you're going to undercut the current prices, what will you do when
the Earth-based companies slash their prices just long enough to put
you out of business?}}

Put MicroSoft out of business just by undercutting one of their
side-lines? You gotta be kidding. They'd just continue to develop new
capabilities on Luna, waiting until that other company goes out of
business from operating at a loss for too long.

{{What asteroid mining experients are you talking about - no one is
doing them or interested in doing them.}}

At the moment, there's a sample-return mission in the works. I fully
expect that five or ten years after Lunar mining operations start,
there'll be more advanced asteroid surveys to try to obtain chemical
elements not present in sufficiently large quantities on Luna, to add
to the Lunar mix.

{{No one is interested in manufacutring in space because all the
customers are on Earth.}}

Again you seem to have missed the point: The money changes hands on
Earth, because the owners and their banks are on Earth. But the
material delivery points are in space because the communication
satellites are in space, ISS is in space, the space tug will be in
space, and the solar power satellites will be in space. You're using
the word "customer" deliberately to confuse the material delivery point
with the money transfer destination.

{{Some of the components you mention aren't raw materials, but require
multi-stage processing, storage, and storage in special equipment -
you going to make that on the Moon?}}

Yes. During the initial stages, only crude bulk parts would be made on
Luna, but as the infrastructure builds up more and more advanced kinds
of parts would be made on Luna. Markets would be based on the best use
of whatever can already be made on Luna at any particular time. I
already outlined in other threads how it's rather trivial to make
electrical conductors out of mixed metals and electrical insulators out
of silicates, each easily obtained from Lunar regolith. On Earth,
materials are expensive, but tooling makes it easy to make pure copper
wires and delicate insulators. On Luna materials are cheap, but tooling
isn't as good, so more crude methods would be used, like really thick
wires to compensate for mixed-metals which have higher resistance than
copper and which aren't as strong as well manufactured metal wire. So
it'd be easy to set up an electrical power grid on Luna whereby solar
collectors are located whereever is best, and then electrical usage
(directly or via battery chargers or via electrolysis of water) is
whereever needed.

{{Where's the proof-of-concept of even tele-operated games? They are
doable here on Earth, and I don't see anyone making money off them}}

Tele-operated Lunar stuff is a lot more exciting than tele-operated
Earth stuff, just as people pay more money to have their names dropped
on Luna than to have those same names dropped on Earth. Yet even so,
Robot Wars in various flavors exists on Earth, for example:
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0163488/

{{for example, tele-operated racing cars are certainly possible, but I
don't see them - why?}}

My children actually did have radio-controlled toy cars, and many
people of all ages have radio-controlled model airplanes. I've seen
many ads on TV for remote-control racing cars for children. They seem
to be a fun toy that makes enough money to pay for sponsoring
commercial programs. (Although some new kinds of products are
advertised but then don't make a profit, I don't believe they'd
continue to advertise year after year if they *never* made any profit
the first several years.)

{{virtual stuff doesn't need to be repaired when it blows up, and is
far more compelling.}}

Virtual fantasy games are more alluring than Earth-based reality. But
real actual live (modulo 2.5 second servo delay) Lunar anything is more
alluring than anything that's just fantasy simulation. Also,
simulations would indeed be used to train and qualify operators, to
minimize the chance of a novice operator crashing a tele-operated
vehicle. Also the tele-operations software would have multiple levels
of safeties, such that if a semi-novice got the vehicle into trouble
it'd stop and wait for a more experienced operator to get it out of
trouble, and if that person got it closer to real trouble it'd stop and
wait for a super-expert to tele-rescue it.
John Ordover
2003-09-08 13:12:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by R***@YahooGroups.Com
{{Date: Sun, 07 Sep 2003 10:33:27 GMT
Just the cost of getting the equipment to do the above into space
starts to quickly approach multiple billions}}
Is it possible you didn't bother to read what I wrote? The only
equipment you need to launch to space (from Earth) would be the first
generation of Lunar mining etc. equipment, plus any replacements for
stuff that breaks down before bootstrap replication of Lunar equipment
can be reached. The only other components that need to be launched from
Earth would be computer chips and the like. The actual backplane,
wiring, etc. would all be made from Lunar materials. The bulk physical
components such as solar reflectors, piping, tanks, levers, etc. would
all be made from Lunar materials.
Like I said - the cost of getting the initial materials to the moon,
even ignoring - that we don't know how to build lunar mining
equipment- are in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Where are you
going to get the machines that manufacture all the other stuff from?
Post by R***@YahooGroups.Com
{{not even counting the R and D necessary to learn out to do the
various things you're talking about we don't know how to do - like to
mine and smelt with no atmosphere, no water, no air, and the like.}}
There's probably lots of water availble, either directly in frozen form
in the abyss, or if the hydrogen is in some other form then by
combining the hydrogen with the oxygen that is everpresent in Luna
regolith. We do very much need in situ measurements of that hydrogen,
to conform the orbital scans and to determine the density and form,
before we begin my plan to mine that abyss material and make water from
it. If it turns out LP (Lunar Prospector) was mistaken, there's no
significant hydrogen there, my plan needs to be re-evaluated. But
virtually everyone in the Space industry believes LP was correct and
we'll find the hydrogen when we look for it. In fact I'm one of the
most pessimistic/cautious people about that fact, wishing we'd go find
that hydrogen already instead of just trusting it's there.
We don't know how to do -any- of this on a large scale. If you have
to pay to -make- your own water and air, you're experiencing a HUGE
cost.
Post by R***@YahooGroups.Com
All chemical processing would occur inside sealed vessels. It's trivial
to introduce one of the various available gasses, depending on the
desired atmospheric characteristics: Oxygen, Hydrogen, water vapor,
CO2, N2, NH3, CH4, CO, etc. all of which are likely to be obtainable
from the Lunar polar abyss.
It's trivial techincally, perhaps. On a modern industrial scale,
it's not trivial or inexpensive.
Post by R***@YahooGroups.Com
{{What do you do when you're short on that one particular screw that
holds a vital piece of equipment together - order one from Earth?}}
Yes. Normally you'd have several sets of spares on such crucial parts
not yet manufacturable on Luna. As they are depleted, you send a new
set of spare parts, whatever parts are in most short supply and likely
to run out soon. But if one particular critical part breaks down so
much that the last spare has been used before the next re-supply
flight, then your equipment sits idle while waiting up to three days
for the next set of spare parts from Earth
Having to have on hand multiple copies of all essentially parts of all
your machines vastly drives up your costs, since you'll essentially
hae to have multiple copies of all your machines, as opposed to Earth,
where you can order any part you need fedexed cheap.
Post by R***@YahooGroups.Com
{{How will the people working on the Moon -eat-?}}
Apparently you didn't read any of what I wrote. During the intial
stages, and maybe indefinitely, there wouldn't be any people living on
Luna. All the initial stages of mining/processing/manufacturing would
be accomplished by tele-operation with some true robotics where
feasible.
Really? Where, exactly, are you planning to get teleoperated mining
robots? They don't exist, you know.
Post by R***@YahooGroups.Com
{{To whom will you sell all this fuel, and at what price?}}
To whomever has anything in space that is refuelable and running short
on fuel. Or you run your own space-tug service, where you use your own
fuel in your own vehicles to supply the change-orbit service for
companies that don't have their own space tugs but do have satellites
and deep-space probes in need of delta-vee.
But no one has anything in space that needs your fuel.
Post by R***@YahooGroups.Com
{{If you're going to undercut the current prices, what will you do when
the Earth-based companies slash their prices just long enough to put
you out of business?}}
Put MicroSoft out of business just by undercutting one of their
side-lines? You gotta be kidding. They'd just continue to develop new
capabilities on Luna, waiting until that other company goes out of
business from operating at a loss for too long.
No, they'd cut their loses on an unprofitable sub-line.
Post by R***@YahooGroups.Com
{{What asteroid mining experients are you talking about - no one is
doing them or interested in doing them.}}
At the moment, there's a sample-return mission in the works. I fully
expect that five or ten years after Lunar mining operations start,
there'll be more advanced asteroid surveys to try to obtain chemical
elements not present in sufficiently large quantities on Luna, to add
to the Lunar mix.
You're really just saying "if we had some ham, we'd have some ham and
eggs, if we had some eggs."
Post by R***@YahooGroups.Com
{{No one is interested in manufacutring in space because all the
customers are on Earth.}}
Again you seem to have missed the point: The money changes hands on
Earth, because the owners and their banks are on Earth. But the
material delivery points are in space because the communication
satellites are in space, ISS is in space, the space tug will be in
space, and the solar power satellites will be in space. You're using
the word "customer" deliberately to confuse the material delivery point
with the money transfer destination.
Again - there is no space industry to buy things made in space. It
doesn't exist. There is no one to buy the stuff you can't manufacture
on the moon because the technology doens't exist.
Post by R***@YahooGroups.Com
{{Some of the components you mention aren't raw materials, but require
multi-stage processing, storage, and storage in special equipment -
you going to make that on the Moon?}}
Yes. During the initial stages, only crude bulk parts would be made on
Luna, but as the infrastructure builds up more and more advanced kinds
of parts would be made on Luna.
Why would it build up?
Post by R***@YahooGroups.Com
Tele-operated Lunar stuff is a lot more exciting than tele-operated
Earth stuff, just as people pay more money to have their names dropped
on Luna than to have those same names dropped on Earth. Yet even so,
No, Grand Theft Auto is more exciting than any tele-operated stuff.
Robot Wars crashed in the TV ratings and are fading out, and weren't
teleoperated.
Post by R***@YahooGroups.Com
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0163488/
{{for example, tele-operated racing cars are certainly possible, but I
don't see them - why?}}
My children actually did have radio-controlled toy cars, and many
people of all ages have radio-controlled model airplanes. I've seen
many ads on TV for remote-control racing cars for children. They seem
to be a fun toy that makes enough money to pay for sponsoring
commercial programs. (Although some new kinds of products are
advertised but then don't make a profit, I don't believe they'd
continue to advertise year after year if they *never* made any profit
the first several years.)
{{virtual stuff doesn't need to be repaired when it blows up, and is
far more compelling.}}
Virtual fantasy games are more alluring than Earth-based reality. But
real actual live (modulo 2.5 second servo delay) Lunar anything is more
alluring than anything that's just fantasy simulation. Also,
simulations would indeed be used to train and qualify operators, to
minimize the chance of a novice operator crashing a tele-operated
vehicle. Also the tele-operations software would have multiple levels
of safeties, such that if a semi-novice got the vehicle into trouble
it'd stop and wait for a more experienced operator to get it out of
trouble, and if that person got it closer to real trouble it'd stop and
wait for a super-expert to tele-rescue it.
Sorry, friend, you're using technolgoy that doesn't exist to create a
lunar mining operation that is not cost-effective to sell to a space
industry that doesn't exist. Not a compelling business plan.
Dave O'Neill
2003-09-12 15:05:49 UTC
Permalink
I have been resisting this... honest...
Post by R***@YahooGroups.Com
{{Date: Sun, 07 Sep 2003 10:33:27 GMT
Just the cost of getting the equipment to do the above into space
starts to quickly approach multiple billions}}
Is it possible you didn't bother to read what I wrote? The only
equipment you need to launch to space (from Earth) would be the first
generation of Lunar mining etc. equipment
How do you cover the costs to design and test and then build this
initial generation from where we are now?

, plus any replacements for
Post by R***@YahooGroups.Com
stuff that breaks down before bootstrap replication of Lunar equipment
can be reached. The only other components that need to be launched from
Earth would be computer chips and the like. The actual backplane,
wiring, etc. would all be made from Lunar materials. The bulk physical
components such as solar reflectors, piping, tanks, levers, etc. would
all be made from Lunar materials.
How?

Look, I used to make things on Earth and its not all that easy with
all the bits around and people at hand. I get very dubious about
claims of "The actual backplane, wiring, etc. would all be made from
Lunar materials"
Post by R***@YahooGroups.Com
{{What do you do when you're short on that one particular screw that
holds a vital piece of equipment together - order one from Earth?}}
Yes. Normally you'd have several sets of spares on such crucial parts
not yet manufacturable on Luna. As they are depleted, you send a new
set of spare parts, whatever parts are in most short supply and likely
to run out soon. But if one particular critical part breaks down so
much that the last spare has been used before the next re-supply
flight, then your equipment sits idle while waiting up to three days
for the next set of spare parts from Earth.
{{How will the people working on the Moon -eat-?}}
Apparently you didn't read any of what I wrote. During the intial
stages, and maybe indefinitely, there wouldn't be any people living on
Luna. All the initial stages of mining/processing/manufacturing would
be accomplished by tele-operation with some true robotics where
feasible.
Ask yourself why we don't already do this for inhospitable regions of
the Earth where it would make life easier...
Post by R***@YahooGroups.Com
{{If you're going to undercut the current prices, what will you do when
the Earth-based companies slash their prices just long enough to put
you out of business?}}
Put MicroSoft out of business just by undercutting one of their
side-lines? You gotta be kidding. They'd just continue to develop new
capabilities on Luna, waiting until that other company goes out of
business from operating at a loss for too long.
But why would they? What is in it for Microsoft?

They make $24bn a year already without sinking billions into new
markets. They're currently concentrating on the following core
markets: banking and telecoms servers, mobile phones, automotive
technology and home TV based applications...

That's eating up a few hundred million but a fraction of what you
propose and the returns are based on established markets.
Post by R***@YahooGroups.Com
{{Where's the proof-of-concept of even tele-operated games? They are
doable here on Earth, and I don't see anyone making money off them}}
Tele-operated Lunar stuff is a lot more exciting
So? What's that got to do with making money?
John Ordover
2003-09-05 23:07:28 UTC
Permalink
But the start-up costs of any kind of "lunar gaming" would make the
risk unacceptably high. Most new sports concepts fail - actually, I
can't think of one that isn't at least a hundred years old. Heck,
most new leauge in -existing- sports fail.
So
he builds a fleet of tele-operated Lunar-certified rovers with the
launch capability needed to get them to Luna. He then sets up races,
whereby three or more contestants race to see which can maneuver his/her
rover to a given destination, or to complete a given task, first.
Before the race, the three or more starting locations are announced,
together with the best available topographic maps showing the general
region from start to finish, but with no particular route defined.
The three regions are totally disjoint, so there can be no interference
between the various contestants. Next, while vehicles are prepared
and launched to those points, potential contestants bid on the amount of
time of headstart by which to handicap each of the start-end pairs.
Something like a futures market is used to establish a concensus
on how long it'll take for each of the three or more start-end tasks to
be performed, and then start-time handicaps are computed from that.
Then potential contestants actually bid to claim one or another of the
start-end pairs. Finally the winning bidders are announced, and the
actual start times are announced consistent with the relative handicap
between, and the contestents are seated in each of their respective
control locations which are programmed to be deadstick until the
correct starting time, then go live. ... Prize is awarded to whichever
contestant reaches the end location or completes the specified task
first. People watch downhill skiing races and horse races, and gamble
on the outcome, so why wouldn't they watch and gamble on tele-operated
lunar-robot races too? The gambling profits might completely pay for
MicroSoft's investment after a few races are completed.
Scottish traditional games for men have a lot of variety, such as
tossing logs, right? And people like to watch them and bet on who will
win, right? The Olympics, and other sports matches, have lots of
different kinds of contests, right? So I see opportunity for lots of
- Just get from point A to point B.
- Sitting on the edge of a polar abyss, reach over the edge and scrape
Alex Terrell
2003-09-05 10:07:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Ordover
This is exactly correct. The limitation to going into space is
economic, not technological - and that may well be the solution to the
Fermi Paradox.
The economics and the technology go hand in hand. Ten years ago you
could have said that the reason every family in the USA didn't have a
PC was economic, not technological.

Well, the technology has changed, and many more families can have a
PC. And as more have PCs the economics drives the cost down, and also
pushes the technology to drive the costs down further.

Same with space. We need either an economic breakthrough (increased
demand), or a technology breakthrough (reduced cost). Either will
drive the other in a virtuous circle of falling price and increasing
volumes.

But we're not there yet.
Post by John Ordover
Post by garfangle
Although in the 1950s/60s it seems that space colonization was only a
few decades away (see: sci-fi at the time), even if we had continued
to fund space development through private commercialization, I doubt
we'd be much farther than we are at today. Aside from the dismantling
of the rocket program and the setbacks of the shuttle program and cost
of the space station , I say we still would not be any closer to
having habitable colonies in either earth orbit, on the Moon or Mars.
Why? Simple because there would be no economic basis for doing so by
the private sector. Given the costs of putting material into space
(on the order of thousands of dollars a pound) and assembling it, no
development could be structured such that it would generate a feasable
return. Even if one could replicate a Dennis Tito scenario, that
would just mean the platform would be vanity, not a real, long-term
livable habitat.
The reason why the New World was settled in the 16th/17th century,
aside from explorations for gold, was for governments to establish
outposts for their empires and for desperate and poor settlers to
enjoy a new life away from the European millieu. By international
law, governments cannot make soverign land claims. Space presents
both high costs and a hostile environment that would be impossible for
typical immigrants to afford and have the skill to work in.
The scenario that science fiction often lays out is one from where a
group of astronauts, scientists and engineers are sent into space to
establish a base colony on the Moon/Mars. After a few years of
development the colony expands to accomodate other professions
including miners, traders, et al. Life beings to simulate Earth
communities as the early settlers being to have families on the new
planet/colony. And so the story ends happily.
However, I do not see where such an enterprise could get started in
terms of massive financial support which would run into the hundreds
of billions for at least the first decade if the settlement was going
to be an actual colony and not just an outpost. Moreover, even if it
was backed by a Bill Gates or a trans-government entity I do not see
how the colony makes a return for the investment. It is just a
sinkhole. Using the base as an exotic research center or establishing
mining operations are nice to have but they won't recoup hardly any of
the costs and any eventual breakthroughs would take many years if at
all. Unless colony can discover the fountain of youth drug or Earth
resources are so depleted that it make transplanetary shipping cost
effective, I do not see why any rational business or government would
make such a speculative investment.
For the most part, the business model that drove New World colonies
was that sailing companies would be paid by would be (voluntary)
settlers, either upfront or as a portion of their eventual labor, to
make the journey across the Atlantic ocean. The boats were often
barely seaworthy and passenger safety concerns were not a high
priority, esp. for those who paid in advance. Also the crew were
often composed of former naval men, convicts and other low paid
laborers. This model is replicated today is the cases of Chinese
immigrant smuggling.
However, each of these circumstances which made settling so profitable
for the sailing companies would not exist in colonizing space. Either
they would be impractical or intolerable. The space vehicle would
have to be custom built to exacting specifications of tolerance and
performance. The crew would be drawn from the NASA's best. If the
settlers were to be scientists and engineers, they obviously could not
afford to pay the cost there, nor bring their families. And they
would not have any means of earning any money once they landed.
So, I do not see how even the most promising developments that could
have occured since the first Moon landed would have overcome these
impediments.
Ciao.
Mike Combs
2003-09-05 17:48:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Terrell
Same with space. We need either an economic breakthrough (increased
demand), or a technology breakthrough (reduced cost). Either will
drive the other in a virtuous circle of falling price and increasing
volumes.
That's the best way of putting it that I think I've heard. Plus, it sounds
like a reason for being doubly hopeful.
--
Regards,
Mike Combs
----------------------------------------------------------------------
We should ask, critically and with appeal to the numbers, whether the
best site for a growing advancing industrial society is Earth, the
Moon, Mars, some other planet, or somewhere else entirely.
Surprisingly, the answer will be inescapable - the best site is
"somewhere else entirely."

Gerard O'Neill - "The High Frontier"
Alex Terrell
2003-09-08 09:21:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Terrell
Post by John Ordover
This is exactly correct. The limitation to going into space is
economic, not technological - and that may well be the solution to the
Fermi Paradox.
The economics and the technology go hand in hand. Ten years ago you
could have said that the reason every family in the USA didn't have a
PC was economic, not technological.
Well, the technology has changed, and many more families can have a
PC. And as more have PCs the economics drives the cost down, and also
pushes the technology to drive the costs down further.
Same with space. We need either an economic breakthrough (increased
demand), or a technology breakthrough (reduced cost). Either will
drive the other in a virtuous circle of falling price and increasing
volumes.
But we're not there yet.
IMHO, since there is nothing in space to spark increased demand, a
tech breakthrough is the only possible option.
There's a lot in space that could spark increased demand. If I knew
what and how, I wouldn't be sitting here.

One thing that would help a lot is if NASA got out of the launch
market, and bought it's launches on a competitive basis. Then NASA's
ISS and (perhaps) Mars or NEO missions would be something in space
sparking increased demand.

Historically, the moon program was an economic comittment, which
forced technological improvements (Saturn V). Unfortunately, that was
followed by retreats in both technological* terms and economic terms.
It was a good start, but ultimately a false start.

*I accept the shuttle was a technological marvel, but the concept was
flawed, so I call it a technological retreat.
John Ordover
2003-09-08 13:14:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Terrell
There's a lot in space that could spark increased demand. If I knew
what and how, I wouldn't be sitting here.
That no one else knows either is the problem.
Post by Alex Terrell
One thing that would help a lot is if NASA got out of the launch
market, and bought it's launches on a competitive basis. Then NASA's
ISS and (perhaps) Mars or NEO missions would be something in space
sparking increased demand
The only thing that will increase demand is a product that can only be
provided by going to space, and that can sell for a ton of money.
Post by Alex Terrell
Historically, the moon program was an economic comittment, which
forced technological improvements (Saturn V). Unfortunately, that was
followed by retreats in both technological* terms and economic terms.
It was a good start, but ultimately a false start.
*I accept the shuttle was a technological marvel, but the concept was
flawed, so I call it a technological retreat.
Alex Terrell
2003-09-10 08:36:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Ordover
Post by Alex Terrell
There's a lot in space that could spark increased demand. If I knew
what and how, I wouldn't be sitting here.
That no one else knows either is the problem.
Post by Alex Terrell
One thing that would help a lot is if NASA got out of the launch
market, and bought it's launches on a competitive basis. Then NASA's
ISS and (perhaps) Mars or NEO missions would be something in space
sparking increased demand
The only thing that will increase demand is a product that can only be
provided by going to space, and that can sell for a ton of money.
To date, the following money producing products have increased demand:
- Bandwidth
- Weather watching

There are others potentially on the horizon, but I think they'll need
a technological improvement first. Demand for these could really take
off if launch costs fall substantially.

The following scientific objectives have increased demand, with no
"ton of money":
- Earth Observation
- Space observation
- Manned Exploration
- Military Applications

Demand for these could increase, especially if launch costs fall a
little. To date this category has been much larger than the former.
TKalbfus
2003-09-05 14:33:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Ordover
This is exactly correct. The limitation to going into space is
economic, not technological - and that may well be the solution to the
Fermi Paradox.
Ok imagine this:
Somewhere in the galaxy there is another star system with a gas giant in the
life belt with a circular orbit. This gas giant has a number of satellites
including a large one about the size and composition of Mars except with one
difference. This satellite is kept geologically active by the tidal forces
exerted by the planet and the other satellites, its not as active as Io, but it
is active enough to keep the crust relatively thin, drive plate tectonics and
have the occasional volcano erupt. The satellite has a thick atmosphere, oceans
and life. Over time an intelligent species has evolved on this planet,
developed a civilization and built rockets. Due to the low escape velocity of
the satellite, these creatures have found it easy to get into space, they could
build single stage rockets that could get into orbit.
Now the question is are the conditions required to develop intelligent life
include that orbital velocity will be difficult to achieve? What is the minimal
escape velocity necessary to hold on to an Earthlike atmosphere?
G EddieA95
2003-09-05 18:13:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by TKalbfus
are the conditions required to develop intelligent life
include that orbital velocity will be difficult to achieve? What is the minimal
escape velocity necessary to hold on to an Earthlike atmosphere?
You mean "hold on to an Earthlike atmosphere on the time-scale required for
cognitive-mind evolution." If the pace of evolution is similar to Earth's,
then a planet similar to Earth in gravity will be needed, else critters capable
of spaceflight will not have time to appear.
Joann Evans
2003-09-06 00:26:46 UTC
Permalink
TKalbfus wrote:

[smip]
Post by TKalbfus
Now the question is are the conditions required to develop intelligent life
include that orbital velocity will be difficult to achieve? What is the minimal
escape velocity necessary to hold on to an Earthlike atmosphere?
How fast a planet's atmosphere is a function of several things.

The molecular weight of the gases in question. (Hydrogen may leave
quickly, CO2 may stay forever. Other gases are somewhere in between.)

The temprature at the 'top' of the atmosphere.

The mass (which equals escape velocity) of the planet in question.

Titan, for instance, appears to have a surface pressure of 1.5 Earth
atmospheres, on a low (compared to Earth) mass body....but it's damn
*cold* out there. Its gas molecules rarely get up to escape velocity.
Too cold for life as we know it, it would seem....

And, if it's cold enough, the atmosphere will simply rain out,
anyway, again depending on the particular gas.

And there's a question of geological forces that would produce much
of an atmosphere to begin with, that also being related to a planet's
mass. That, and being cold enough that CO2 can precipitate at times, is
part of what's wrong with Mars. But were it more massive, it might have
had enough of an atmosphere for a better greenhouse effect, and enoug
internal dynamics to *produce* more of an atmosphere.

A lot of different things play off here. (I'd *love* a good close-up
picture of some of the extrasolar 'hot Jupiters.' Offhand, one would
think that at those distances from a star, hydrogen and helium would be
driven off a gas giant is pretty short order, but they seem massive
enough to hold on, in spite of that...)
Paul Blay
2003-09-03 08:31:15 UTC
Permalink
"Hop David" wrote ...
or alternately if we had turned away from fossil fuels
due to Greenhouse Effect concerns,
Don't see the U.S. doing that. Too many Americans _like_ cooking frogs.
And many American companies have more realistic views than
Mr "post ice-age" and Mr "green conspiracy" of this group.
John Ordover
2003-09-03 11:07:05 UTC
Permalink
All successful corporations are realistic and pragmatic - they are
looking for profits now, or at most a few years from now, not possible
profits 20, 30, or 50 years in the future. No one has found a way to
make space colonization pay off in the short term -or- the long term,
although I hope someone will think of something at some point.

After all, a moonbase is clearly within our technological capacity and
has been since 1969. That we're not building one is entirely an
economic matter.




On Wed, 3 Sep 2003 09:31:15 +0100, "Paul Blay"
Post by Paul Blay
"Hop David" wrote ...
or alternately if we had turned away from fossil fuels
due to Greenhouse Effect concerns,
Don't see the U.S. doing that. Too many Americans _like_ cooking frogs.
And many American companies have more realistic views than
Mr "post ice-age" and Mr "green conspiracy" of this group.
Al Jackson
2003-09-03 14:08:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by garfangle
Although in the 1950s/60s it seems that space colonization was only a
...snip....

You know if you survey prose science fiction from the 40's and 50's,
when interplanetary flight was strong plot narrative (actually
interstellar had become more popular by then, but anyway) you will
find , in most cases, not all, that the time scale for colonization of
the Solar System is predicted to start at a minimum of by 2100 , not
2000 or 2001!
I am not sure the reason for this, SF writers were just being
conservative , I guess.
I note that many SF writers left a future date of interplanetary and
interstellar flight ambiguous, even Heinlein, but check out his Future
History Time Line and you will see most settings at the end of this
century or the start of the next , and of course up the road from
there!
Alex Terrell
2003-09-03 20:31:45 UTC
Permalink
Apologies to those who have been there before, but...

I did a hypothetical business case at
http://www.geocities.com/alexterrell/routemap_files/Routemap4.doc

This basically shows that if certain conditions can be met, then a
hugely profitable space based operation could be established.

If that happens, then access to and living in space would become cheap
enough that large scale colonisation would be inevitable.

I would hope that the conditions could be met in 20 years. It would be
sooner if NASA orientated its research to its achievement, for
example, developing high power electric propulsion, asteroid
processing techniques, solar panel manufacture etc.
Post by garfangle
Although in the 1950s/60s it seems that space colonization was only a
few decades away (see: sci-fi at the time), even if we had continued
to fund space development through private commercialization, I doubt
we'd be much farther than we are at today. Aside from the dismantling
of the rocket program and the setbacks of the shuttle program and cost
of the space station , I say we still would not be any closer to
having habitable colonies in either earth orbit, on the Moon or Mars.
Why? Simple because there would be no economic basis for doing so by
the private sector. Given the costs of putting material into space
(on the order of thousands of dollars a pound) and assembling it, no
development could be structured such that it would generate a feasable
return. Even if one could replicate a Dennis Tito scenario, that
would just mean the platform would be vanity, not a real, long-term
livable habitat.
The reason why the New World was settled in the 16th/17th century,
aside from explorations for gold, was for governments to establish
outposts for their empires and for desperate and poor settlers to
enjoy a new life away from the European millieu. By international
law, governments cannot make soverign land claims. Space presents
both high costs and a hostile environment that would be impossible for
typical immigrants to afford and have the skill to work in.
The scenario that science fiction often lays out is one from where a
group of astronauts, scientists and engineers are sent into space to
establish a base colony on the Moon/Mars. After a few years of
development the colony expands to accomodate other professions
including miners, traders, et al. Life beings to simulate Earth
communities as the early settlers being to have families on the new
planet/colony. And so the story ends happily.
However, I do not see where such an enterprise could get started in
terms of massive financial support which would run into the hundreds
of billions for at least the first decade if the settlement was going
to be an actual colony and not just an outpost. Moreover, even if it
was backed by a Bill Gates or a trans-government entity I do not see
how the colony makes a return for the investment. It is just a
sinkhole. Using the base as an exotic research center or establishing
mining operations are nice to have but they won't recoup hardly any of
the costs and any eventual breakthroughs would take many years if at
all. Unless colony can discover the fountain of youth drug or Earth
resources are so depleted that it make transplanetary shipping cost
effective, I do not see why any rational business or government would
make such a speculative investment.
For the most part, the business model that drove New World colonies
was that sailing companies would be paid by would be (voluntary)
settlers, either upfront or as a portion of their eventual labor, to
make the journey across the Atlantic ocean. The boats were often
barely seaworthy and passenger safety concerns were not a high
priority, esp. for those who paid in advance. Also the crew were
often composed of former naval men, convicts and other low paid
laborers. This model is replicated today is the cases of Chinese
immigrant smuggling.
However, each of these circumstances which made settling so profitable
for the sailing companies would not exist in colonizing space. Either
they would be impractical or intolerable. The space vehicle would
have to be custom built to exacting specifications of tolerance and
performance. The crew would be drawn from the NASA's best. If the
settlers were to be scientists and engineers, they obviously could not
afford to pay the cost there, nor bring their families. And they
would not have any means of earning any money once they landed.
So, I do not see how even the most promising developments that could
have occured since the first Moon landed would have overcome these
impediments.
Ciao.
G EddieA95
2003-09-04 14:20:58 UTC
Permalink
There is a direct benefit from military expenditure. It's
called freedom.
Which you don't get in the US, which has the biggest military budget in
the world.
You say the US has no freedom? then why do you remain here? Get going and
quit bitching about immigration.
Scott Lowther
2003-09-04 15:41:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by G EddieA95
There is a direct benefit from military expenditure. It's
called freedom.
Which you don't get in the US, which has the biggest military budget in
the world.
You say the US has no freedom?
WHOOPS! Massive, Clintoneque fuckup on my part. I managed to snip out
exactly the phrase I was actaully responding to:


Paul Blay: "Yeah, but the _other_ direct 'benefit' from military
expenditure is
oppression."

Please mentally re-insert that, and replay. Kinda changes the whole
meaning...
--
Scott Lowther, Engineer

"Any statement by Edward Wright that starts with 'You seem to think
that...' is wrong. Always. It's a law of Usenet, like Godwin's."
- Jorge R. Frank, 11 Nov 2002
Scott Lowther
2003-09-04 17:51:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott Lowther
WHOOPS! Massive, Clintoneque fuckup on my part. I managed to snip out
Paul Blay: "Yeah, but the _other_ direct 'benefit' from military
expenditure is
oppression."
Please mentally re-insert that, and replay. Kinda changes the whole
meaning...
I did think it seemed disturbingly pinko liberal for you...
Indeed. Now, if only we could determine that the entire Clinton
administration was actually due to piss-poor proofreading... "Uh-oh. I
told Janet Reno so send the Branch Davidians our *thanks,* not
*tanks*..."
--
Scott Lowther, Engineer

"Any statement by Edward Wright that starts with 'You seem to think
that...' is wrong. Always. It's a law of Usenet, like Godwin's."
- Jorge R. Frank, 11 Nov 2002
TKalbfus
2003-09-06 16:34:05 UTC
Permalink
Not sure how that makes a real difference, except that they are
travelling through space to get from one moon to another for what
appears to them to be valid economic reasons, valid because the travel
is so cheap and the land they can travel to is good and the air is
clear, etc.
Doesn't impact the Fermi paradox solution I've suggested, though.
If they can get into orbit around their own world, a number of options present
themselves. They can use low thrust high effeiceincy engines that sip rather
than gulp reaction mass. They can get into space quite handily with chemical
rockets and quite possibly before they develop atomic weapons. They can travel
about their mini solar system about the gas giant and explore other moons, set
up mining operations and build O'Neill type colonies. They can build solar
power satellites. They can even skim the upper atmosphere of the gas giant. The
Mars-size world would have its own magnetic field. The Gas Giant would have a
much larger one with lethal van allen belts. The natives would have to include
plenty of shielding in their spaceships, but they can put it together in low
orbit around their world, protected by its own magnetic field. There may be
other planets in the solar system to explore as well, including possibly an
asteroid belt inside the orbit of the gas giant. The creatures would eventually
develop atomic weapons, but perhaps they'd less less threatening to them as
they would be less spread out. On their smaller sized would they may have fewer
nations to fight among themselves, (perhaps 50 instead of 200). Eventually they
would turn their eyes to the stars. with massive orbital industries that they
have built to sustain themselves, building huge starships would be much easier
for they, than it may be for us.

Tom
Dave O'Neill
2003-09-12 15:09:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by TKalbfus
Not sure how that makes a real difference, except that they are
travelling through space to get from one moon to another for what
appears to them to be valid economic reasons, valid because the travel
is so cheap and the land they can travel to is good and the air is
clear, etc.
Doesn't impact the Fermi paradox solution I've suggested, though.
If they can get into orbit around their own world, a number of options present
themselves. They can use low thrust high effeiceincy engines that sip rather
than gulp reaction mass. They can get into space quite handily with chemical
rockets and quite possibly before they develop atomic weapons. They can travel
about their mini solar system about the gas giant and explore other moons, set
up mining operations and build O'Neill type colonies. They can build solar
power satellites. They can even skim the upper atmosphere of the gas giant. The
Mars-size world would have its own magnetic field. The Gas Giant would have a
much larger one with lethal van allen belts. The natives would have to include
plenty of shielding in their spaceships, but they can put it together in low
orbit around their world, protected by its own magnetic field. There may be
other planets in the solar system to explore as well, including possibly an
asteroid belt inside the orbit of the gas giant. The creatures would eventually
develop atomic weapons, but perhaps they'd less less threatening to them as
they would be less spread out. On their smaller sized would they may have fewer
nations to fight among themselves, (perhaps 50 instead of 200). Eventually they
would turn their eyes to the stars. with massive orbital industries that they
have built to sustain themselves, building huge starships would be much easier
for they, than it may be for us.
Which brings us back to the where are they question.

Even at a low percentage of light speed you can colonise a galaxy in a
few tens of millions of years. We don't see any evidence of large
scale hi-tech engineering either, like Dyson Spheres.

It may be that we're the first or that all intelligent life appeared
at roughly the same time, so there's a wave of colonisation rolling
towards us at 0.05c, but I'm not convinced.

It could be that physics develops to a point where the physical
universe we currently perceive is considered a bit passe.

Basically, I doubt if we'll know this side of the Singularity, or even
the one after that.
Joann Evans
2003-09-13 14:17:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave O'Neill
Post by TKalbfus
Not sure how that makes a real difference, except that they are
travelling through space to get from one moon to another for what
appears to them to be valid economic reasons, valid because the travel
is so cheap and the land they can travel to is good and the air is
clear, etc.
Doesn't impact the Fermi paradox solution I've suggested, though.
If they can get into orbit around their own world, a number of options present
themselves. They can use low thrust high effeiceincy engines that sip rather
than gulp reaction mass. They can get into space quite handily with chemical
rockets and quite possibly before they develop atomic weapons. They can travel
about their mini solar system about the gas giant and explore other moons, set
up mining operations and build O'Neill type colonies. They can build solar
power satellites. They can even skim the upper atmosphere of the gas giant. The
Mars-size world would have its own magnetic field. The Gas Giant would have a
much larger one with lethal van allen belts. The natives would have to include
plenty of shielding in their spaceships, but they can put it together in low
orbit around their world, protected by its own magnetic field. There may be
other planets in the solar system to explore as well, including possibly an
asteroid belt inside the orbit of the gas giant. The creatures would eventually
develop atomic weapons, but perhaps they'd less less threatening to them as
they would be less spread out. On their smaller sized would they may have fewer
nations to fight among themselves, (perhaps 50 instead of 200). Eventually they
would turn their eyes to the stars. with massive orbital industries that they
have built to sustain themselves, building huge starships would be much easier
for they, than it may be for us.
Which brings us back to the where are they question.
Even at a low percentage of light speed you can colonise a galaxy in a
few tens of millions of years. We don't see any evidence of large
scale hi-tech engineering either, like Dyson Spheres.
It may be that we're the first or that all intelligent life appeared
at roughly the same time, so there's a wave of colonisation rolling
towards us at 0.05c, but I'm not convinced.
It could be that physics develops to a point where the physical
universe we currently perceive is considered a bit passe.
Basically, I doubt if we'll know this side of the Singularity, or even
the one after that.
Sometimes I wonder if the whole starship paradigm is wrong, and in
the end, things will look more like the planet surface-to-planet surface
technology of 'Stargate' and 'Contact.' It might at least partly explain
the absence of obvious engineering works in the sky, even if the
'stargates' can only function STL. (Though some of the things speculated
about wormholes gives a little hope.)

Or, as you suggest, civilizations go 'somewhere else' altogether more
interesting and/or useful, before doing so. A 'somewhere else' that we
don't really know about yet.

But hey, what do I know? It's a whole other thread....
John Ordover
2003-09-13 22:14:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave O'Neill
Even at a low percentage of light speed you can colonise a galaxy in a
few tens of millions of years.
You can't if it continually costs you more resources than it brings
in. You'll be forced to stop pretty quickly.
ralph buttigieg
2003-09-13 19:16:11 UTC
Permalink
John Ordover wrote in message ...
Post by John Ordover
Post by Dave O'Neill
Even at a low percentage of light speed you can colonise a galaxy in a
few tens of millions of years.
You can't if it continually costs you more resources than it brings
in. You'll be forced to stop pretty quickly.
Bring it too whom?

ta

Ralph
John Ordover
2003-09-14 08:04:10 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 14 Sep 2003 05:16:11 +1000, "ralph buttigieg"
Post by ralph buttigieg
John Ordover wrote in message ...
Post by John Ordover
Post by Dave O'Neill
Even at a low percentage of light speed you can colonise a galaxy in a
few tens of millions of years.
You can't if it continually costs you more resources than it brings
in. You'll be forced to stop pretty quickly.
Bring it too whom?
To the people whose resources are being used to accomplish the
colonization. Why pay for something they don't benefit from?

Another thing to consider is that the number of planets that any
particular evloved life form can settle onto may be very limited. For
example, we're linked to Earth's environment in myriad ways - we may
simple never find anothe rplanet that is Earthlike enough for us to
walk around without spacesuits, even if it had its own biology. While
the changes are their "bacteria" and "viruses" and stuff won't note
us, our immune system might not note their molds or lichens or
anything else that might see us as a just a bag of chemicals to be
snacked on. If our immune system doesn't or can't fight them, we're
in big trouble.

Science Fiction tends to portary other worlds as really no more
dangeorus than the arctic or the jungle, that there will be
"earthlike" planets to settle. That has not been confirmed, and other
intelligences may have found that planets that suit them aren't
plentiful enough to make colonization viable.
ralph buttigieg
2003-09-13 23:45:12 UTC
Permalink
John Ordover wrote in message
Post by John Ordover
On Sun, 14 Sep 2003 05:16:11 +1000, "ralph buttigieg"
To the people whose resources are being used to accomplish the
colonization. Why pay for something they don't benefit from?
What makes you think the people themselfs can't pay for
the colony? Do you think the tribe people who colonised the Earth
were paid to go out by other tribes people? Or that the Pacific islands
were settled that way? What seems to have happened in the case
of the Pacific Islands was that small groups got into their boats with
there belongings and some start up goods and just went. The rest of the
village
was properbly glad to get rid of them. Once humanity has become comfortable
about living in the Solar System a similar proccess of intersteller
colonisation
can take place.
Post by John Ordover
Another thing to consider is that the number of planets that any
particular evloved life form can settle onto may be very limited. For
A solar system civilisation would know how to live on worlds
as different as Mercury and Pluto. In fact they might want to avoid planets
with any life.

Think of a Space Colony. The community is happy in their little world but
for what ever reason whats to leave the System. The attach rocket engines
to the habitat and set out at say, 2% light speed. After several decades
they
reach the Oort Cloud. Here they refuel and some people stay behind to start
a colony. Then off they go for a few more decades to repeat the procedure.
Eventually they reach anothers star system. Here they can leave more people
behind.

While this is going some people on the earlier colonies decide to move out
as well. So theres a snowball effect.

It is certainly possible to colonise the galaxy at sublight speed.


ta

Ralph
Jim Davis
2003-09-14 16:45:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by ralph buttigieg
What seems to have happened in the case
of the Pacific Islands was that small groups got into their
boats with there belongings and some start up goods and just
went.
Yes, but notice *where* they just went. An environment substantially
the same as the one they were leaving. They didn't go to the
Antarctic; they didn't go to the Himalayas; they didn't go to the
Sahara; they didn't go to the bottom of they ocean; they didn't form
a free floating colony; they went to another island.

There are no terrestrial parallels to space colonization.

Jim Davis
John Ordover
2003-09-15 02:48:26 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 14 Sep 2003 09:45:12 +1000, "ralph buttigieg"
Post by ralph buttigieg
John Ordover wrote in message
Post by John Ordover
On Sun, 14 Sep 2003 05:16:11 +1000, "ralph buttigieg"
To the people whose resources are being used to accomplish the
colonization. Why pay for something they don't benefit from?
What makes you think the people themselfs can't pay for
the colony? Do you think the tribe people who colonised the Earth
were paid to go out by other tribes people?
For the most part, they just walked a few miles down the road, where
they found an environment not much different from the one they just
left. It takes a long time for that process to get you from Africa to
the Arctic Circle, but that's how it was done.



Or that the Pacific islands
Post by ralph buttigieg
were settled that way? What seems to have happened in the case
of the Pacific Islands was that small groups got into their boats with
there belongings and some start up goods and just went. The rest of the
village
was properbly glad to get rid of them. Once humanity has become comfortable
about living in the Solar System a similar proccess of intersteller
colonisation
can take place.
They took only their own property.

Please show me the tangible benefit to the people of Earth to pay
multiple billions to set up livable environments anywhere else in this
solar system. Sailing ships are so cheap that you can use them to
send convicts to Austrailia; space ships are so expensive you can
hardly build and use them at all. The analogy doesn't hold.
Post by ralph buttigieg
Post by John Ordover
Another thing to consider is that the number of planets that any
particular evloved life form can settle onto may be very limited. For
A solar system civilisation would know how to live on worlds
as different as Mercury and Pluto. In fact they might want to avoid planets
with any life.
If there were such a thing, which there isn't. Why would they live on
Mercury and Pluto? To what end? Do to what? To accomplish what? To
make money how?
Post by ralph buttigieg
Think of a Space Colony. The community is happy in their little world but
for what ever reason whats to leave the System. The attach rocket engines
to the habitat and set out at say, 2% light speed. After several decades
they
reach the Oort Cloud. Here they refuel and some people stay behind to start
a colony. Then off they go for a few more decades to repeat the procedure.
Eventually they reach anothers star system. Here they can leave more people
behind.
If such a colony magically popped into existance, yes - but Earth
won't build it unless it is of economic benefit to Earth to do so.
How is it of economic benefit?
Post by ralph buttigieg
While this is going some people on the earlier colonies decide to move out
as well. So theres a snowball effect.
It is certainly possible to colonise the galaxy at sublight speed.
Not on a economic basis, it isn't. You're assuming a whole lot of
infrastructure magically popping into existance. Again, please, a
striaght answer - why should anyone on Earth invest one thin dime into
say, a Moon colony? How will they earn interest on that dime?
Post by ralph buttigieg
ta
Ralph
TangoMan
2003-09-14 21:31:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Ordover
On Sun, 14 Sep 2003 05:16:11 +1000, "ralph buttigieg"
Post by ralph buttigieg
John Ordover wrote in message ...
Post by John Ordover
Post by Dave O'Neill
Even at a low percentage of light speed you can colonise a galaxy in a
few tens of millions of years.
You can't if it continually costs you more resources than it brings
in. You'll be forced to stop pretty quickly.
Bring it too whom?
To the people whose resources are being used to accomplish the
colonization. Why pay for something they don't benefit from?
Another thing to consider is that the number of planets that any
particular evloved life form can settle onto may be very limited. For
example, we're linked to Earth's environment in myriad ways - we may
simple never find anothe rplanet that is Earthlike enough for us to
walk around without spacesuits, even if it had its own biology. While
the changes are their "bacteria" and "viruses" and stuff won't note
us, our immune system might not note their molds or lichens or
anything else that might see us as a just a bag of chemicals to be
snacked on. If our immune system doesn't or can't fight them, we're
in big trouble.
Thing line of thinking is akin to the "limits to growth" crowd of the 1960s.

If confronted with a hostile pathogen in the new environment, there are
three courses of action. 1.) Isolate yourself from the pathogen; 2.)
bioengineer the pathogen; or 3.) bioengineer the human genome for the
settlers to accept the pathogen(s).

Taking account of human initiative and ingenuity introduces a new source of
solutions that the static mode of thinking ignores.

The quetion then becomes, how expensive is it to isolate, or to engineer a
whole world's ecosystem, or to engineer the humans. We have no basis upon
which to judge this question, but what should be clear is that options are
now available to the settlers.

TangoMan
Dave
2003-09-16 11:37:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Ordover
Post by Dave O'Neill
Even at a low percentage of light speed you can colonise a galaxy in a
few tens of millions of years.
You can't if it continually costs you more resources than it brings
in. You'll be forced to stop pretty quickly.
Thats not entirely how colonisation works though. You keep expanding
because you can and you have to. Look at the Polynesian model. Once those
canoes were at sea there was no way they would be ever reporting home again.
John Ordover
2003-09-16 14:43:26 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 11:37:55 +0000 (UTC), "Dave"
Post by Dave
Post by John Ordover
Post by Dave O'Neill
Even at a low percentage of light speed you can colonise a galaxy in a
few tens of millions of years.
You can't if it continually costs you more resources than it brings
in. You'll be forced to stop pretty quickly.
Thats not entirely how colonisation works though. You keep expanding
because you can and you have to. Look at the Polynesian model. Once those
canoes were at sea there was no way they would be ever reporting home again.
But the economic drain on the home island was nil - in fact, their
resources went further because of those who had left. That does not
compare to the huge ecnomic drain of space flight. Sure, if you could
paddle a canoe to the Moon and live off Moon Dust, people would have
done it by now. But you can't. It costs billions and billions of
dollars to go into space, and even more billions to stay there for any
length of time.
Len
2003-09-16 18:53:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Ordover
On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 11:37:55 +0000 (UTC), "Dave"
...snip...
Post by John Ordover
Post by Dave
Thats not entirely how colonisation works though. You keep expanding
because you can and you have to. Look at the Polynesian model. Once those
canoes were at sea there was no way they would be ever reporting home again.
But the economic drain on the home island was nil - in fact, their
resources went further because of those who had left. That does not
compare to the huge ecnomic drain of space flight. Sure, if you could
paddle a canoe to the Moon and live off Moon Dust, people would have
done it by now. But you can't. It costs billions and billions of
dollars to go into space, and even more billions to stay there for any
length of time.
Inadvertently, you have made the point of this whole
thread. The problem is economics--perceived economics.
Your premise is that it is too expensive. Get the
government out of the way, and entreprenuers can do
enough to make it self-sustaining for an investment
of $1 billion, perhaps far less. I suspect that
$1 billion out of a multi-trillion dollar economy
would be less of a relative drain than a Polynesian
expedition.

Best regards,
Len (Cormier)
PanAero, Inc. and Third Millennium Aerospace, Inc.
***@tour2space.com ( http://www.tour2space.com )
John Ordover
2003-09-16 23:58:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Len
Inadvertently, you have made the point of this whole
thread. The problem is economics--perceived economics.
Your premise is that it is too expensive. Get the
government out of the way, and entreprenuers can do
enough to make it self-sustaining for an investment
of $1 billion, perhaps far less.
And how, exactly, would they earn the billion back, plus interest?
Where would the money stream come from?
Len
2003-09-18 02:22:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Ordover
Post by Len
Inadvertently, you have made the point of this whole
thread. The problem is economics--perceived economics.
Your premise is that it is too expensive. Get the
government out of the way, and entreprenuers can do
enough to make it self-sustaining for an investment
of $1 billion, perhaps far less.
And how, exactly, would they earn the billion back, plus interest?
Where would the money stream come from?
Let me not count all the ways--but I'll mention one:

IMO, a big LEO system has plenty of potential for profit.
But please note that an appropriate system has yet to be
tried. I think that a big-LEO system with better economic
and operational potential than current ground systems could
be shown to be technically and economically feasible within
a $120 million "proof-of-concept" budget. The total system
may require an investment of several billion dollars--but
only after the proof-of-concept phase makes that type of
investment a no-brainer.

The proof-of-concept phase might only involve a few satellites.
The operational phase, however, might involve thousands of
small satellites that would be fabricated and launched for
$1 million or less per satellite. World-wide service, including
ocean areas, mountain areas, remote areas would cost less than
current cellular service. Initial pre-bankruptcy big-LEO systems
had impossible economics. We would be shooting for $7 per week--
rather than $7 per minute. That could have some impact on the
potential market. $7 per minute in remote areas is a specialty
market, not a mass market. Customers capable of paying $7 per
minute do not generally hang out in remote areas; rather they
hang out in high-density areas where they can get good telecom
services at a much lower price. There is a great need for good
telecom services in remote areas--but those services have to be
available at a price comparable to, or less than, normal
telephone services.

I think that we agree that launch economics and space economics
in general have to change radically for commercial space to be
profitable. I think that we disagree on whether or not that
type of change requires breakthrough technology. I think it
requires only a radically different management approach and good
system design with in-hand technology. Part of the radical
change in economics that I think is feasible is dependent upon
the scale of operations. That is why I advocate small space
transports initially, since the scale of operations that make
things happen can be proportionately smaller with a larger
investment.

Aerospace costs have escalated far faster than inflation and
costs for other industries. And before you place the blame on
far more complex systems, other industries have managed to use
high-tech to reduce relative costs, while increasing product
complexity.

With greatly improve launch and space application economics,
there should be many ways of turning a profit. But I'll agree
with you that current approaches offer no chance for closure
except for a few, overexploited special applications.

Best regards,
Len (Cormier)
PanAero, Inc. and Third Millennium Aerospace, Inc.
***@tour2space.com ( http://www.tour2space.com )
John Ordover
2003-09-18 09:51:53 UTC
Permalink
You really think that the invesment will come from the
telecommunications industry, which overbuilt to the point of
near-collapse? And that is turning from sats to cell towers as on the
whole more reliable and less expensive to construct and maintain?

And this will be to serve low-population density remote areas that few
people go to or live in? That doesn't add up to very many customers.
On top of which, the goal will be to drive down the price, so you'll
need a huge number of customers to pay the bills and the interest
payments?


Remember, -it all comes down to how many customers you can get, and
how much they are willing to pay.


The problem with space isn't management; the problem is having a
marketable product that can -only- be built in space and that bring
sin a ton of profit.
Post by Len
I think that we agree that launch economics and space economics
in general have to change radically for commercial space to be
profitable. I think that we disagree on whether or not that
type of change requires breakthrough technology. I think it
requires only a radically different management approach and good
system design with in-hand technology. Part of the radical
change in economics that I think is feasible is dependent upon
the scale of operations. That is why I advocate small space
transports initially, since the scale of operations that make
things happen can be proportionately smaller with a larger
investment.
Aerospace costs have escalated far faster than inflation and
costs for other industries. And before you place the blame on
far more complex systems, other industries have managed to use
high-tech to reduce relative costs, while increasing product
complexity.
With greatly improve launch and space application economics,
there should be many ways of turning a profit. But I'll agree
with you that current approaches offer no chance for closure
except for a few, overexploited special applications.
Best regards,
Len (Cormier)
PanAero, Inc. and Third Millennium Aerospace, Inc.
Len
2003-09-18 16:30:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Ordover
You really think that the invesment will come from the
telecommunications industry, which overbuilt to the point of
near-collapse? And that is turning from sats to cell towers as on the
whole more reliable and less expensive to construct and maintain?
Yes, I think it is possible. I think the problem
is more psychological than technical--but that may
be enough to preclude its ever happening.
Post by John Ordover
And this will be to serve low-population density remote areas that few
people go to or live in? That doesn't add up to very many customers.
On top of which, the goal will be to drive down the price, so you'll
need a huge number of customers to pay the bills and the interest
payments?
See my separate post in answer to Dave' comments.
My interest in potential customers from remote
areas is as a source for the hard-to-obtain "proof-
of-concept" money, because of their greater potential
interest in seeing such a system become a reality.
Most of the revenue would probably have to come from
poorly served medium-density areas.
Post by John Ordover
Remember, -it all comes down to how many customers you can get, and
how much they are willing to pay.
No arguement.
Post by John Ordover
The problem with space isn't management; the problem is having a
marketable product that can -only- be built in space and that bring
sin a ton of profit.
Poor management took the multi-billion dollar plunge
in poorly thought-out previous big-LEO systems. Poor
management--or satisfaction with the earnings from a
launch monopoly--is primarily responsible for
unnecessarily high space launch costs.
Best regards,
Len (Cormier)
PanAero, Inc. and Third Millennium Aerospace, Inc.
***@tour2space.com ( http://www.tour2space.com )
Alex Terrell
2003-09-19 08:36:03 UTC
Permalink
I think Len's "product" is workable, if it can compete on cost and
quality with exisitng GSM and future 3G services.

Whilst competing on cost may be difficult in small markets, there are
many people like myself who are fed up with being ripped off when
roaming abroad. For a business person who travels a lot, such a
satellite phone would be an attractive proposition.

The counter argument would be that roaming costs are only such a rip
off because the telcos are in a position to screw foreign customers.
If the sat system took off, roaming charges would have to fall
dramatically.

In theory, the system Len describes would be a more attractive
proposition than paying billions for licences for 3G. The issue is
that this is a sunk cost. A telco could have said: "Instead of
spending $20 billion to buy spectrum licenses to cover Europe, we're
going to spend $5 billion to implement Len's system."

In theory, it could still happen, as aside from buying an operator
it's the only way into the 3G market in Europe.
Post by Len
Post by John Ordover
Post by Len
Inadvertently, you have made the point of this whole
thread. The problem is economics--perceived economics.
Your premise is that it is too expensive. Get the
government out of the way, and entreprenuers can do
enough to make it self-sustaining for an investment
of $1 billion, perhaps far less.
And how, exactly, would they earn the billion back, plus interest?
Where would the money stream come from?
IMO, a big LEO system has plenty of potential for profit.
But please note that an appropriate system has yet to be
tried. I think that a big-LEO system with better economic
and operational potential than current ground systems could
be shown to be technically and economically feasible within
a $120 million "proof-of-concept" budget. The total system
may require an investment of several billion dollars--but
only after the proof-of-concept phase makes that type of
investment a no-brainer.
The proof-of-concept phase might only involve a few satellites.
The operational phase, however, might involve thousands of
small satellites that would be fabricated and launched for
$1 million or less per satellite. World-wide service, including
ocean areas, mountain areas, remote areas would cost less than
current cellular service. Initial pre-bankruptcy big-LEO systems
had impossible economics. We would be shooting for $7 per week--
rather than $7 per minute. That could have some impact on the
potential market.
The difficulty is the numbers - how many people live in these places, oceans
aside (there are plenty of reasonable cost sat-phone systems now), for
mountains and wilderness areas if you need to you can cover them with land
based networks far cheaper than Sats.
I understand its harder with CDMA, but certainly errecting high power GSM
towers and then either doing a tight line of site or fixed connection via a
satellite to the network is pretty easy. A mobile is already the standard
method of rescue in most European and Australian mountain regions. Even in
much of Africa you'll get some kind of signal. A British Army team stuck in
the jungle in Seirra Leone managed to get air lifted out when they jury
rigged a GSM mobile with some batteries and the platoon commander phoned his
wife in the UK to ask for help.
Telecoms's is a dead duck for this sort of thing I'm afraid, global roaming
arrangements and standardisation killed it.
We need another killer app.
$7 per minute in remote areas is a specialty
Post by Len
market, not a mass market. Customers capable of paying $7 per
minute do not generally hang out in remote areas; rather they
hang out in high-density areas where they can get good telecom
services at a much lower price. There is a great need for good
telecom services in remote areas--but those services have to be
available at a price comparable to, or less than, normal
telephone services.
Dave O'Neill
2003-09-19 09:16:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Terrell
I think Len's "product" is workable, if it can compete on cost and
quality with exisitng GSM and future 3G services.
Whilst competing on cost may be difficult in small markets, there are
many people like myself who are fed up with being ripped off when
roaming abroad. For a business person who travels a lot, such a
satellite phone would be an attractive proposition.
<shrug>

I pay around 60p a minute depending on the time. I just got back from a
week and a bit in the US after trips to Denmark and Sweden. My phone bill
was a little over £300. Given the travel and so forth, I don't find that to
be too onerus. It's expensive, but not in comparison to what domestic
mobile calls were a decade ago. As roaming increases prices will decrease.
Post by Alex Terrell
The counter argument would be that roaming costs are only such a rip
off because the telcos are in a position to screw foreign customers.
If the sat system took off, roaming charges would have to fall
dramatically.
In theory, the system Len describes would be a more attractive
proposition than paying billions for licences for 3G. The issue is
that this is a sunk cost. A telco could have said: "Instead of
spending $20 billion to buy spectrum licenses to cover Europe, we're
going to spend $5 billion to implement Len's system."
In theory, it could still happen, as aside from buying an operator
it's the only way into the 3G market in Europe.
You still have the latency problems with satellite networks and I'm not sure
the data rates could be maintained in the kind of handover scenarios which
they have to deal with in Low Orbit constellations.
Len
2003-09-19 20:45:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Terrell
I think Len's "product" is workable, if it can compete on cost and
quality with exisitng GSM and future 3G services.
Whilst competing on cost may be difficult in small markets, there are
many people like myself who are fed up with being ripped off when
roaming abroad. For a business person who travels a lot, such a
satellite phone would be an attractive proposition.
The counter argument would be that roaming costs are only such a rip
off because the telcos are in a position to screw foreign customers.
If the sat system took off, roaming charges would have to fall
dramatically.
In theory, the system Len describes would be a more attractive
proposition than paying billions for licences for 3G. The issue is
that this is a sunk cost. A telco could have said: "Instead of
spending $20 billion to buy spectrum licenses to cover Europe, we're
going to spend $5 billion to implement Len's system."
In theory, it could still happen, as aside from buying an operator
it's the only way into the 3G market in Europe.
Thanks for your input, Alex. I appreciate positive
and constructive negative input. It helps to get
my own thinking in order. In fact, thanks to your
input, Dave's input and even John O's input, I am
developing what may be a better strategy.

Perhaps yacht owners, residents of Alice Springs
and other parts of the Outback, cargo ship operators,
cruise ship operators, airline operators, etc. may
welcome a remote-area, and ocean-area telecom service
that would make each 20k, 24/7 channel available for
$1000 per year flat rate.

I might start a telecom club of such potential customers
who would like to see the type of huge-LEO system that
I have in mind become a reality. For a $100 per year
membership fee, they would get a newsletter and other
info on the progress of the system. The membership fees
would be used primarily to advance the "proof-of-concept"
phase. Subject to our being able to do all the wonderful
things we hope to do, each annual subscirption fee would
also entitle the subscriber to the privilege of buying a
$1000 contract for one year's 20k channel services for
no more than $1000. A substantial number of subscriptions
--plus a successful "proof-of-concept" phase should be
quite useful for obtaining funding for the operational
system.

Customers would be able to contact any other customer
within the system anywhere in the world within +- 65
degrees latitude--subject to any fees levied outside
of ocean areas by government, etc. Access to
other telecom systems could involve additional charges.

I do have a more detailed idea of how I would go about
the technical challenges; but I choose not to disclose
more at this time.

So thanks for the input: ganz kewl, dudes.

Best regards,
Len (Cormier)
PanAero, Inc. and Third Millennium Aerospace, Inc.
***@tour2space.com ( http://www.tour2space.com )
Alex Terrell
2003-09-22 09:17:57 UTC
Permalink
I have some ideas that I'd like to propose, but your e-mail bounces back.
Post by Len
Post by Alex Terrell
I think Len's "product" is workable, if it can compete on cost and
quality with exisitng GSM and future 3G services.
Whilst competing on cost may be difficult in small markets, there are
many people like myself who are fed up with being ripped off when
roaming abroad. For a business person who travels a lot, such a
satellite phone would be an attractive proposition.
The counter argument would be that roaming costs are only such a rip
off because the telcos are in a position to screw foreign customers.
If the sat system took off, roaming charges would have to fall
dramatically.
In theory, the system Len describes would be a more attractive
proposition than paying billions for licences for 3G. The issue is
that this is a sunk cost. A telco could have said: "Instead of
spending $20 billion to buy spectrum licenses to cover Europe, we're
going to spend $5 billion to implement Len's system."
In theory, it could still happen, as aside from buying an operator
it's the only way into the 3G market in Europe.
Thanks for your input, Alex. I appreciate positive
and constructive negative input. It helps to get
my own thinking in order. In fact, thanks to your
input, Dave's input and even John O's input, I am
developing what may be a better strategy.
Perhaps yacht owners, residents of Alice Springs
and other parts of the Outback, cargo ship operators,
cruise ship operators, airline operators, etc. may
welcome a remote-area, and ocean-area telecom service
that would make each 20k, 24/7 channel available for
$1000 per year flat rate.
I might start a telecom club of such potential customers
who would like to see the type of huge-LEO system that
I have in mind become a reality. For a $100 per year
membership fee, they would get a newsletter and other
info on the progress of the system. The membership fees
would be used primarily to advance the "proof-of-concept"
phase. Subject to our being able to do all the wonderful
things we hope to do, each annual subscirption fee would
also entitle the subscriber to the privilege of buying a
$1000 contract for one year's 20k channel services for
no more than $1000. A substantial number of subscriptions
--plus a successful "proof-of-concept" phase should be
quite useful for obtaining funding for the operational
system.
Customers would be able to contact any other customer
within the system anywhere in the world within +- 65
degrees latitude--subject to any fees levied outside
of ocean areas by government, etc. Access to
other telecom systems could involve additional charges.
I do have a more detailed idea of how I would go about
the technical challenges; but I choose not to disclose
more at this time.
So thanks for the input: ganz kewl, dudes.
Best regards,
Len (Cormier)
PanAero, Inc. and Third Millennium Aerospace, Inc.
Len
2003-09-22 13:56:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Terrell
I have some ideas that I'd like to propose, but your e-mail bounces back.
My mail box has been filling up with the fake
"Microsoft Security Patch" crap. I've been
diligent in cleaning it out; however, the
volume is such that several new ones show up
while I'm deleting old ones.

I hope that I haven't lost other legitimate
messages.

Sorry. Try again.

Best regards,
Len (Cormier)
PanAero, Inc. and Third Millennium Aerospace, Inc.
***@tour2space.com ( http://www.tour2space.com )
Dave O'Neill
2003-09-19 09:19:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Al Jackson
...snip...
Post by Len
Post by John Ordover
And how, exactly, would they earn the billion back, plus interest?
Where would the money stream come from?
IMO, a big LEO system has plenty of potential for profit.
But please note that an appropriate system has yet to be
tried. I think that a big-LEO system with better economic
and operational potential than current ground systems could
be shown to be technically and economically feasible within
a $120 million "proof-of-concept" budget. The total system
may require an investment of several billion dollars--but
only after the proof-of-concept phase makes that type of
investment a no-brainer.
The proof-of-concept phase might only involve a few satellites.
The operational phase, however, might involve thousands of
small satellites that would be fabricated and launched for
$1 million or less per satellite. World-wide service, including
ocean areas, mountain areas, remote areas would cost less than
current cellular service. Initial pre-bankruptcy big-LEO systems
had impossible economics. We would be shooting for $7 per week--
rather than $7 per minute. That could have some impact on the
potential market.
The difficulty is the numbers - how many people live in these places,
oceans
Post by Al Jackson
aside (there are plenty of reasonable cost sat-phone systems now), for
mountains and wilderness areas if you need to you can cover them with
land
Post by Al Jackson
based networks far cheaper than Sats.
I was a bit clumsy in my explanation, but I did
not mean to imply that remote areas could supply
an adequate market. I think that most of the
revenue would have to come from poorly served
medium-population density areas. Even in the
United States--which I do not regard as the primary
market--there are many cellular dead spots in
rather high-density areas. I think that there is
a reasonable chance that a large satellite network
can be significantly cheaper than a network of
telecom towers serving all of the medium-density
areas of the world.
I think this is an aspect of the design of the system in the US rather than
mobile phone networks in general. It amazed me when I lived in CA how
quickly the network coverage dropped from digital back to analogue to
nothing. A GSM cell can cover tens if not hundreds of Kilometres and they
are really really easy to errect in compariosn to CDMA cells.

I suspect that with the new GSM networks in the US you'll start to see more
medium density areas covered because the technology and opportunity cost are
much lower.
Post by Al Jackson
The big problem, I admit, is that the large
satellite network cannot be attacked one area
at a time. However, this type of investment
was made in earlier systems--and with, IMO,
very poor market justification.
Now, back to the remote areas. I think that
potential customers in remote areas--while
perhaps not adequate to justify a "huge-LEO"
system--can contribute signifcant revenue.
For one thing, there is a significant
amount of traffic transiting remote areas that
could be a very interesting market. My basic
premise is that there is more potential total
revenue from remote areas at low cost to the
ultimate consumer than there is at much higher
cost. In other words, I think that the remote
market is highly elastic. My focus on remote
areas is that potential customers in remote
areas might be willing to fund the "proof-of-
concept" phase, because of the disproportionate
potential value of such a system to remote
customers. Moreover, I think that obtaining
the "proof-of-concept" money--while relatively
modest--is the hardest part of the whole plan.
The problem is existing sat phone networks do cover the small market well.
That was the death knell along with GSM roaming for Iridium et al.

Iridium was a great technology, it worked and was effective.

It was also a poorly run business sadly.
Len
2003-09-19 15:51:43 UTC
Permalink
...snip...
Post by Dave O'Neill
Post by Al Jackson
I was a bit clumsy in my explanation, but I did
not mean to imply that remote areas could supply
an adequate market. I think that most of the
revenue would have to come from poorly served
medium-population density areas. Even in the
United States--which I do not regard as the primary
market--there are many cellular dead spots in
rather high-density areas. I think that there is
a reasonable chance that a large satellite network
can be significantly cheaper than a network of
telecom towers serving all of the medium-density
areas of the world.
I think this is an aspect of the design of the system in the US rather than
mobile phone networks in general. It amazed me when I lived in CA how
quickly the network coverage dropped from digital back to analogue to
nothing. A GSM cell can cover tens if not hundreds of Kilometres and they
are really really easy to errect in compariosn to CDMA cells.
I suspect that with the new GSM networks in the US you'll start to see more
medium density areas covered because the technology and opportunity cost are
much lower.
Hey, technology is supposed to get better--especially
with real competition. My point is that a good big-LEO
satellite system is yet to be tried. I agree that a
good GSM system is likely to be tough competition in
medium-density areas. And fiber optics probably owns
the high-density market. However, some additional clever
thinking and design on a basically good huge-LEO system
may be able to compete in medium-density market. In
remote areas and ocean areas--75 percent of the Earth's
surface--it would be no contest, although the number of
potential customers is quite low.
Post by Dave O'Neill
Post by Al Jackson
The big problem, I admit, is that the large
satellite network cannot be attacked one area
at a time. However, this type of investment
was made in earlier systems--and with, IMO,
very poor market justification.
Now, back to the remote areas. I think that
potential customers in remote areas--while
perhaps not adequate to justify a "huge-LEO"
system--can contribute signifcant revenue.
For one thing, there is a significant
amount of traffic transiting remote areas that
could be a very interesting market. My basic
premise is that there is more potential total
revenue from remote areas at low cost to the
ultimate consumer than there is at much higher
cost. In other words, I think that the remote
market is highly elastic. My focus on remote
areas is that potential customers in remote
areas might be willing to fund the "proof-of-
concept" phase, because of the disproportionate
potential value of such a system to remote
customers. Moreover, I think that obtaining
the "proof-of-concept" money--while relatively
modest--is the hardest part of the whole plan.
The problem is existing sat phone networks do cover the small market well.
That was the death knell along with GSM roaming for Iridium et al.
Iridium was a great technology, it worked and was effective.
I agree, Iridium is great technology; however, it
was a very poorly thought out business concept with
respect to economics and the real market. I tried
to convince the Motorola folks of this years before
Iridium was deployed; the most I was able to do was
to get a response that they hoped that I would be
operational when it came time to replace satellites.
Post-bankruptcy Iridium Satellite LLC seems to be
modestly successful--since they were able to buy
$6 billion of assets for $25 million. This allows
them to offer services at more competitive prices.

One strategy might be to address the future Iridium
market with modest prices in remote areas, but not
dirt-cheap, prices. Perhaps there would be sufficient
remote-area customers willing to pay a modest
premium for remote-area and ocean-areas to be
the primary justification for a huge-LEO system.
$1000 per year flat rate per 20k channel from 1 million
remote- and ocean-area customers should do the trick.

The same huge-LEO system would then serve medium-
density and other areas at prices competitive with
alternative services under a two-tier pricing system.
Post by Dave O'Neill
It was also a poorly run business sadly.
Poorly run: starting with the adopting a basically
unsound concept.

Best regards,
Len (Cormier)
PanAero, Inc. and Third Millennium Aerospace, Inc.
***@tour2space.com ( http://www.tour2space.com )
John Ordover
2003-09-19 16:07:20 UTC
Permalink
I would imagine that technology will move in such a direction that
"mom and pop" cell towers will be possible in remote areas - or even
personal ones. You'd have a cell phone that connects first to the
tower on your roof, then elsewhere.

Satelites just aren't competitive in telecom, because the risk of
having a cell tower fall down as opposed to having a satelite blow up
on the way to space or malfunction when it gets there or wind up in
the wrong orbit is simply too high.
Post by Al Jackson
...snip...
Post by Dave O'Neill
Post by Al Jackson
I was a bit clumsy in my explanation, but I did
not mean to imply that remote areas could supply
an adequate market. I think that most of the
revenue would have to come from poorly served
medium-population density areas. Even in the
United States--which I do not regard as the primary
market--there are many cellular dead spots in
rather high-density areas. I think that there is
a reasonable chance that a large satellite network
can be significantly cheaper than a network of
telecom towers serving all of the medium-density
areas of the world.
I think this is an aspect of the design of the system in the US rather than
mobile phone networks in general. It amazed me when I lived in CA how
quickly the network coverage dropped from digital back to analogue to
nothing. A GSM cell can cover tens if not hundreds of Kilometres and they
are really really easy to errect in compariosn to CDMA cells.
I suspect that with the new GSM networks in the US you'll start to see more
medium density areas covered because the technology and opportunity cost are
much lower.
Hey, technology is supposed to get better--especially
with real competition. My point is that a good big-LEO
satellite system is yet to be tried. I agree that a
good GSM system is likely to be tough competition in
medium-density areas. And fiber optics probably owns
the high-density market. However, some additional clever
thinking and design on a basically good huge-LEO system
may be able to compete in medium-density market. In
remote areas and ocean areas--75 percent of the Earth's
surface--it would be no contest, although the number of
potential customers is quite low.
Post by Dave O'Neill
Post by Al Jackson
The big problem, I admit, is that the large
satellite network cannot be attacked one area
at a time. However, this type of investment
was made in earlier systems--and with, IMO,
very poor market justification.
Now, back to the remote areas. I think that
potential customers in remote areas--while
perhaps not adequate to justify a "huge-LEO"
system--can contribute signifcant revenue.
For one thing, there is a significant
amount of traffic transiting remote areas that
could be a very interesting market. My basic
premise is that there is more potential total
revenue from remote areas at low cost to the
ultimate consumer than there is at much higher
cost. In other words, I think that the remote
market is highly elastic. My focus on remote
areas is that potential customers in remote
areas might be willing to fund the "proof-of-
concept" phase, because of the disproportionate
potential value of such a system to remote
customers. Moreover, I think that obtaining
the "proof-of-concept" money--while relatively
modest--is the hardest part of the whole plan.
The problem is existing sat phone networks do cover the small market well.
That was the death knell along with GSM roaming for Iridium et al.
Iridium was a great technology, it worked and was effective.
I agree, Iridium is great technology; however, it
was a very poorly thought out business concept with
respect to economics and the real market. I tried
to convince the Motorola folks of this years before
Iridium was deployed; the most I was able to do was
to get a response that they hoped that I would be
operational when it came time to replace satellites.
Post-bankruptcy Iridium Satellite LLC seems to be
modestly successful--since they were able to buy
$6 billion of assets for $25 million. This allows
them to offer services at more competitive prices.
One strategy might be to address the future Iridium
market with modest prices in remote areas, but not
dirt-cheap, prices. Perhaps there would be sufficient
remote-area customers willing to pay a modest
premium for remote-area and ocean-areas to be
the primary justification for a huge-LEO system.
$1000 per year flat rate per 20k channel from 1 million
remote- and ocean-area customers should do the trick.
The same huge-LEO system would then serve medium-
density and other areas at prices competitive with
alternative services under a two-tier pricing system.
Post by Dave O'Neill
It was also a poorly run business sadly.
Poorly run: starting with the adopting a basically
unsound concept.
Best regards,
Len (Cormier)
PanAero, Inc. and Third Millennium Aerospace, Inc.
Len
2003-09-20 00:45:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Ordover
I would imagine that technology will move in such a direction that
"mom and pop" cell towers will be possible in remote areas - or even
personal ones. You'd have a cell phone that connects first to the
tower on your roof, then elsewhere.
Satelites just aren't competitive in telecom, because the risk of
having a cell tower fall down as opposed to having a satelite blow up
on the way to space or malfunction when it gets there or wind up in
the wrong orbit is simply too high.
A space transport is going to have a much higher
reliability than what you are indicating--or it
does not deserve to be called a space transport.

Let's say that you would like to get complete
coverage of 150 million square miles of ocean
area. Which do you think would be cheaper?
75,000 Texas Tower cellular towers or 4000 mass-
produced satellites launched from a space transport
into 700-km low-Earth orbits? Which do you think
is more likely to topple over in hurricanes and
typhoons?

Best regards,
Len (Cormier)
PanAero, Inc. and Third Millennium Aerospace, Inc.
***@tour2space.com ( http://www.tour2space.com )
Len
2003-09-24 15:05:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Len
Post by Len
Inadvertently, you have made the point of this whole
thread. The problem is economics--perceived economics.
Your premise is that it is too expensive. Get the
government out of the way, and entreprenuers can do
enough to make it self-sustaining for an investment
of $1 billion, perhaps far less.
<snip>
Post by Len
The proof-of-concept phase might only involve a few satellites.
The operational phase, however, might involve thousands of
small satellites that would be fabricated and launched for
$1 million or less per satellite. World-wide service, including
ocean areas, mountain areas, remote areas would cost less than
current cellular service. Initial pre-bankruptcy big-LEO systems
had impossible economics. We would be shooting for $7 per week--
rather than $7 per minute. That could have some impact on the
potential market. $7 per minute in remote areas is a specialty
market, not a mass market. Customers capable of paying $7 per
minute do not generally hang out in remote areas; rather they
hang out in high-density areas where they can get good telecom
services at a much lower price. There is a great need for good
telecom services in remote areas--but those services have to be
available at a price comparable to, or less than, normal
telephone services.
<snip>
Some simple calculations show that you will have to sign up
over 250K users for your space phone. That covers only the
satellite hardware. No launch costs or ground support. This
number is for an assumed 10 year lifetime of the satellites,
Without profit, for a $7/week phone. I don't think
it will work. Not when cell is everywhere you want to be.
Also, bandwidth/available channel problems will kill you.
And don't start with "beyond spread spectrum", Power levels
would have to be too low.
Jim.
Jim, you're right that it is hard to make the
numbers work for remote areas only. See my
other posts that have evolved from inputs like
yours. My earlier strategy was to rely on remote
areas for supporting the modest "proof-of-concept"
investment, and medium-density areas for supporting
the large operational investment. I now think that
charging $1000 per year per subscriber per 20k
channel would make more sense--while still being
very attractive to people in, or transiting,
remote areas and ocean areas. It would work as
well in other areas; however, other areas might
involve other charges from other companies or
taxes by governments.

With respect to power, cell sizes become very
small for a satellite with a phased array looking
essentially straight down from no more than 800 km
altitude in L-band, or a higher frequency band.
Other things being equal, this can give signal
strengths that are 32 db better than Iridium--
enough to work well inside of buildings. Reception
angle should be generally better than ground
cellular systems. Frequency reuse can be 225
times better. The potential number of available
channels is potentally enormous--especially with
a future-service tie-in with someone like Iridium
Satellite LLC that owns 5 Mhz of L-band frequencies
and already has existing marketin arrangements in
most countries. Note that we envisage an
Iridium-type system that is self-sufficient in
remote and ocean areas.

I am quite aware that large numbers of subscribers
are necessary. Actually, we would need more like
a million subscribers that the 250,000 you mention.
This is a formidable barrier. However, I think
that the economics are sufficiently elastic.

Subscriber costs--and consumer-equipment investment
costs--were very high for all of the original big-LEO
systems. These costs do not yield good data points
--other than proving that the system is not
economically feasible, unless the economics are
sufficiently elastic.

Note also that--if by some magic--we could obtain
1,000,000 pre-subscriptions at $100 a pop from
people and companies that would like to see this
type of system happen, then we would have our
"proof-of-concept" funding. 100,000 pre-subscriptions
at $1000 per pop per channel would also give us
the "proof-of-concept" funding.

I suspect that the large subscriber base that
we need would have to come primarily from
world-wide cellular phone users who have fairly
frequent occasion to transit ocean areas and
remote ares. As for people who actually live in
such areas, they are admittedly quite scarce.
However, penetration levels of this potential
market should be relatively high.

If appropriate, we could consider a two-tier
pricing level--with prices within medium-density
areas being competitive with alternate services.
This would be equivalent to an evening restaurant
opening up for the lunch and breakfast crowd.

Best regards,
Len (Cormier)
PanAero, Inc. and Third Millennium Aerospace, Inc.
***@tour2space.com ( http://www.tour2space.com )

John Ordover
2003-09-17 11:39:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Ordover
Sure, if you could
Post by John Ordover
paddle a canoe to the Moon and live off Moon Dust, people would have
done it by now. But you can't. It costs billions and billions of
dollars to go into space, and even more billions to stay there for any
length of time.
Yes it does, and it might always do so, however, we're in la-la land for the
purposes of this hypothetical.
That it might always do is my personal solution to the Fermi paradox -
that within the physical laws of the universe, the costs of space
travel are so high and the return so low that it simply cannot be done
economically - that there isn't some kind of super-tech that makes it
cost-effective. :)
Rand Simberg
2003-09-17 16:18:34 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 16:03:47 GMT, in a place far, far away, Dick
Post by John Ordover
That it might always do is my personal solution to the Fermi paradox -
that within the physical laws of the universe, the costs of space
travel are so high and the return so low that it simply cannot be done
economically - that there isn't some kind of super-tech that makes it
cost-effective. :)
In the context of inter-stellar travel you may be right. But that is
orders-of-magnitude more difficult than getting into LEO, or even to the
Moon. We're still waiting for your engineering analysis of the minimum
cost of LEO transportation permitted by the laws of physics (and
existing technology).
Don't hold your breath--he's not capable of it.
--
simberg.interglobal.org * 310 372-7963 (CA) 307 739-1296 (Jackson Hole)
interglobal space lines * 307 733-1715 (Fax) http://www.interglobal.org

"Extraordinary launch vehicles require extraordinary markets..."
Swap the first . and @ and throw out the ".trash" to email me.
Here's my email address for autospammers: ***@fbi.gov
John Ordover
2003-09-18 02:03:39 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 17:53:21 GMT, Dick Morris
Post by Rand Simberg
On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 16:03:47 GMT, in a place far, far away, Dick
Post by John Ordover
That it might always do is my personal solution to the Fermi paradox -
that within the physical laws of the universe, the costs of space
travel are so high and the return so low that it simply cannot be done
economically - that there isn't some kind of super-tech that makes it
cost-effective. :)
In the context of inter-stellar travel you may be right. But that is
orders-of-magnitude more difficult than getting into LEO, or even to the
Moon. We're still waiting for your engineering analysis of the minimum
cost of LEO transportation permitted by the laws of physics (and
existing technology).
Don't hold your breath--he's not capable of it.
I suspect that you're right - and I'm not. Still, some sort of
justification for the endlessly repeated claim needs to be provided.
Those who cannot back up their claims, and refuse to modify or even
discuss them, have no credibility. Those who are not engineers should
not pontificate on engineering matters.
Post by Rand Simberg
--
simberg.interglobal.org * 310 372-7963 (CA) 307 739-1296 (Jackson Hole)
interglobal space lines * 307 733-1715 (Fax) http://www.interglobal.org
"Extraordinary launch vehicles require extraordinary markets..."
So it should be simple to disprove my claim by demonstrating a
profit-making, cost-effectve space travel system in operation. Until
you can do that, you have nothing worthwhile to say.
Dick Morris
2003-09-18 15:17:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Ordover
On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 17:53:21 GMT, Dick Morris
Post by Rand Simberg
On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 16:03:47 GMT, in a place far, far away, Dick
Post by John Ordover
That it might always do is my personal solution to the Fermi paradox -
that within the physical laws of the universe, the costs of space
travel are so high and the return so low that it simply cannot be done
economically - that there isn't some kind of super-tech that makes it
cost-effective. :)
In the context of inter-stellar travel you may be right. But that is
orders-of-magnitude more difficult than getting into LEO, or even to the
Moon. We're still waiting for your engineering analysis of the minimum
cost of LEO transportation permitted by the laws of physics (and
existing technology).
Don't hold your breath--he's not capable of it.
I suspect that you're right - and I'm not. Still, some sort of
justification for the endlessly repeated claim needs to be provided.
Those who cannot back up their claims, and refuse to modify or even
discuss them, have no credibility. Those who are not engineers should
not pontificate on engineering matters.
Post by Rand Simberg
--
simberg.interglobal.org * 310 372-7963 (CA) 307 739-1296 (Jackson Hole)
interglobal space lines * 307 733-1715 (Fax) http://www.interglobal.org
"Extraordinary launch vehicles require extraordinary markets..."
So it should be simple to disprove my claim by demonstrating a
profit-making, cost-effectve space travel system in operation. Until
you can do that, you have nothing worthwhile to say.
So I have to spend billions of dollars over 10 or 15 years developing a
space transportation system in order to refute an argument that you will
not make the slightest effort to back up with facts? You don't have
clue one about why space transportation presently costs so much, and you
refuse to learn, so it is you who have nothing worthwhile to say.
Rand Simberg
2003-09-18 16:13:44 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 18 Sep 2003 15:17:32 GMT, in a place far, far away, Dick
Post by Dick Morris
Post by John Ordover
So it should be simple to disprove my claim by demonstrating a
profit-making, cost-effectve space travel system in operation. Until
you can do that, you have nothing worthwhile to say.
So I have to spend billions of dollars over 10 or 15 years developing a
space transportation system in order to refute an argument that you will
not make the slightest effort to back up with facts?
Yup. That's the little logic-challenged universe in which the troll
resides.
--
simberg.interglobal.org * 310 372-7963 (CA) 307 739-1296 (Jackson Hole)
interglobal space lines * 307 733-1715 (Fax) http://www.interglobal.org

"Extraordinary launch vehicles require extraordinary markets..."
Swap the first . and @ and throw out the ".trash" to email me.
Here's my email address for autospammers: ***@fbi.gov
Paul F. Dietz
2003-09-18 12:11:44 UTC
Permalink
It's really simple: the Apollo show was fake. In reality they can't
fly above 500 miles because of radiation. After over 30 years it's
about time you all accept reality because your vain fantasies have
sewn the seeds of destruction of your real manned Space program which
totally sucks!
FOAD, troll.

Paul
Continue reading on narkive:
Loading...