A retraction

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ascan1984

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Before the crash on space.com i made a comment that i was against the comercialistion and opening up of space. I have now come to realise this may be the bedt thing that could happen for space exploration. Maybe this will spur on nasa to reach for the stars (please excuse the pun) and do something we have all dreamt would happen since december 1972 when Apollo 17 returned to earth as the last flight to land on the moon and the last J mission. We have all dremat of an endeavour in space exploration that will make people on the outside of the interest stand up and say wow this is trully amazing. I get angry when i hear people wanting to continue with unmanned exploration and scrap manned because unmanned is giving moire dividends. I get angry because i know that they are right in terms of the dividends being more with unmanned. But they are also wrong. <br /><br />We are still living of our apollo herritage even after 32 years since it ended. The president has given a mandate but i doubt that this will have any impact on the current state of affairs. I am dissapointed with the way thngs are going. Congress has cut the budget for space exploration again. My point is even though i do not want space to become the ultimate holliday destination i do however want the opening up of space to make nasa go further and relight the fire which lays dormanrt in the hearts of the worlds population. The peole at nasa and the other contractors for spaceflight are heros. It is time to give them the recognition they deserve by giving them a huge undertaking thast will bring ouyt the best in them. <br /><br />Hail Nasa.
 
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earth_bound_misfit

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Thankyou ASCAN, i mainly agree.<br />Theres only one thing that concerns me me with commerciazion (sp) of space.<br />That is, if there is a real problem with our current technolgy chewing up or posioning earths atmosphere through the use of rockety.<br />Don't get me wrong here, i'm all for exploration of space, but at what cost?<br />The last thing i want to see is the weathly burning up our enviroment because they can afford to.<br />We really need to develop some real clean way of lauching stuff into space, be it an elevator of electro rail gun arrangement.<br /><br />Any thoughts gentlemen? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p><p>----------------------------------------------------------------- </p><p>Wanna see this site looking like the old SDC uplink?</p><p>Go here to see how: <strong>SDC Eye saver </strong>  </p> </div>
 
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earth_bound_misfit

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"Environmental pollution due to rockets is EXTREMELY SMALL"<br />You totally sure on that one SG?<br />As the climate is already under stress, maybe every little bit counts. Especially if commerical stuff starts blasting off every week or even day.<br /><br />I'm reckon that the cost is worth it under nasa type programs, for the betterment of mankind, but is it just worth it for sightseers? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p><p>----------------------------------------------------------------- </p><p>Wanna see this site looking like the old SDC uplink?</p><p>Go here to see how: <strong>SDC Eye saver </strong>  </p> </div>
 
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spacester

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Well certainly the pollution from the shuttle program has been at very low levels over the past year and a half . . . <img src="/images/icons/frown.gif" /> . . . sorry . . . <br /><br />I believe the question refers to a future with much higher traffic than we currently have. SG, you always seem to invoke the status quo when discussing the future. I find this approach to be more bizarre than any outlandish scheme someone might come up with. The only constant is change.<br /><br />I have been concerned with rocket engine pollution for years. It is certain that if we become a space-faring civilization (and have the number of flights that status implies), but do it with dirty engines, the pollution will be significant.<br /><br />So if we want that future, we've gotta do it with clean engines. <br /><br />LOX/LH2 (Liquid Oxygen / Liguid Hydrogen) engines are very clean - just water and CO2 in the exhaust products AFAIK.<br /><br />I was very concerned when I first heard SS1 was going to burn rubber and nitrous - visions of thick black smoke as from tire fires come to mind. But if you look at the structure of the rubber molecule - HTPB - you see nothing but Carbon and Hydrogen atoms in the main chain, with an Oxygen atom in the hydroxy- termination.<br /><br />Presumably, the combustion process is very efficient, so it would seem that the exhaust would be mostly NOx or N2, water and CO2.<br /><br />So it seems the exhaust products from SS1's engines are <i>potentially</i> no big deal . I have not been able to confirm this with a report of what the actual exhaust products are.<br /><br />The Shuttle's solid rocket boosters produce quite nasty exhaust IIRC, but I don't have details on them.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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najab

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One of the the biggest rockets ever launched (the Saturn V) used about 2 million kilograms of propellant per launch. Now, for argument's sake we will ignore the fact that more than half of that mass was liquid oxygen. We'll also ignore the fact that a lot of the remaining fuel was liquid hydrogen. We're just going to assume that all 2 million kilograms was kerosene.<p>That works out to about 3 million litres of kerosine. That's a little more than 21,000 barrels of oil - wow! That's a lot!<p>Erm, no. The United States, by itself, consumes well over 10 <b>million</b> barrels of oil per day for transport alone.<p>So, even if we were to launch a Saturn V <b>every single day</b> we would be increasing the emissions by less than 1 percent.</p></p></p>
 
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najab

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><i>The Shuttle's solid rocket boosters produce quite nasty exhaust IIRC, but I don't have details on them.</i><p>It's not <b>that</b> nasty - I mean I wouldn't want to be breathing it, but that's as much to do with it being 6000 degrees as its composition. Probably the nastiest things in there in any large amounts is hydrochloric acid and ammonia. There's smaller amounts of other not so nice things, but not really enough to worry about unless you are going to be breathing it directly (in which case the whole burning to a crisp thing would be of more immediate concern).</p>
 
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spacester

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BTW, ASCAN1984, way to go!<br /><br />That was a very nice post, and I am delighted that you have adjusted your perspective. As an avid booster of space tourism, I've imagined that you perceive me as the 'enemy' somehow. Which is not fun, because my whole schtick when it comes to manned space flight is quite simply and literally "IT'S ALL GOOD!"<br /><br />I arrived at space tourism as the vehicle to our dreams somewhat reluctantly. If NASA was capable of getting the job done, I'd be all for it! I still believe NASA can return to glory years, but they need an outside stimulus. Space tourism is the obvious choice to provide that stimulus.<br /><br />IMO the main thing needed to reform NASA is a change in attitude, not funding.<br /><br />You are exactly on target with the need for a "huge undertaking" to get NASA back on track. Many ideas are out there, but IMO the best ones are those which are government partnerships with new, innovative companies.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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blacknebula

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IIRC, I've seen statistics of shuttle launch polution, and the pollution emmitted is comparable to rush hour in LA for one day.<br /><br />Very tiny when you consider the whole picture. If the shuttle launched every 9 days, then some environmental issue might arise. I wouldn't worry about that, though.
 
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CalliArcale

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I would expect any issues from daily launches to be more local than global. For instance, fish immediately downrange might be somewhat affected if the concentrations got high enough, though really, if fish survive around LA it probably won't be that big a deal even locally.<br /><br />Actually, it occurs to me that one of the biggest environmental concerns might be noise, partly for nuisance-factor (that's a big issue in the neighborhoods around the Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport right, partly because the Metropolitan Airports Commission made some very unwise and fundamentally unfillable promises WRT noise) but also because of impact on wildlife. I suspect that would turn out to be more significant than airborne contaminants. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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silylene old

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Actually the biggest pollution issues of both the US and Soviet civilian and military space programs have been from groundwater contamination. This is caused by spilled chemicals and improper waste disposal.<br /><br />I do not view this as a barrier, since groundwater contamination is 100% avoidable if proper controls and handling procedures are used.<br /><br />Other posts have adequately discussed the air pollution issues. I cannot imagine air pollution will be a significant problem unless we have many rockets/week launching. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature" align="center"><em><font color="#0000ff">- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -</font></em> </div><div class="Discussion_UserSignature" align="center"><font color="#0000ff"><em>I really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function.</em></font> </div> </div>
 
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