Is there a middle point between saving the environment and developing space travel further?

Oct 22, 2021
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Idk much about rockets and space travel, but I've heard a lot of concerns about the repercussions on the environment. As someone that may pursue aeorospace engineering, I want to hear ideas on how to both save our planet and conquer others without making compromises, if possible.
 

Catastrophe

The devil is in the detail
There is always a 'middle point' although it is not always in the middle. By that I mean a compromise point rather than a middle point. That compromise point may be shifted a long way from the middle. For example, the benefits of space travel may be small compared with the effect on the environment, or vice versa.

In the extreme case, the benefit (to the general population) when a billionaire goes into space may be near zero, whereas the damage to the environment may be high. Otherwise, space travel may bring huge benefits for comparatively small environmental damage.

Cat :)
 
Jul 27, 2021
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I would say it is not a middle point, it is the substance which throws us somewhere (forward?)

In real life I am striving to bring the awareness and helpful, useful information and notion between space and the Earth.
These both are intertwined as never before.

Space exploration is now a subject of admiration and dreams, bringing daily news.
I would like to state that nevertheless the ocean is not less interesting and mysterious. It has old and deep mysteries, it carries our history and carries our climate and lives.
It's just that you can't go to an evening party with friends with telescopes for the depths of the ocean gazing.
At the same time, while space exploration and monitoring satellites are on rail, and easy to bring daily sensations, the Earth, the ocean, volcanoes exploration has it's steady steps with its great breakthroughs and discoveries.

As the technology is bursting, it spurs both space and the Earth.
And...human: medicine

Earth science is not in the spotlights and headlines and not in pop culture, as space. We like to turn away from where thousands years are spent. Space is not so polluted yet.

The ocean is the mysterious history of our lives, close and calling.
 
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Jul 27, 2021
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Mentioning Immanuel Kant in this article spurred me to share.


'Is it possible that just as technology that imitated the eye has allowed us to see what the eye could not see, so technology that imitates the mind will allow us to perceive what the mind cannot perceive? '

The centuries long discussion continues, as we might see first results, but not the answers for eternal questions, of course.

'Kritik der reinen Vernunft'
 
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Aug 14, 2020
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Our birthing and going nova out into the space frontier does not allow for a single compromise. Like any do-or-die birth at all -- in this case expanding Earth-life into the universe at large, an imperative rather than simply something important, is a total war against the otherwise inevitability of an eventual mass extinction of life on Earth -- it is a necessarily ruthless endeavor to reach the point of permanency; the point of no return.

The very accomplishment of life permanently expanding out into a vastly more open system from the growing complications of a closed systemic nest will do for the Earth, and life remaining on Earth, what cannot possibly be done otherwise. Even if some maniacs were to try to abort humankind from the Earth, believing they were going to save the Earth by the doing, nature, if given the time before a then inevitability of a next mass extinction, would do all it could to evolve a not-so-sensitive expansionist species to get the life-carrier-out-to-frontier-universe (and away from mass extinction in a closed systemic single box) job done.

Of course, Mars and the Moon don't count and won't do at all. Going for those two is like the whole of 1492 "Old World" (Europe, Asia, and Africa) reaching out for Iceland and Bermuda, and all the tiny rock islands of the Atlantic, to expand and grow into. They would be no help whatsoever for the vast majority of 1492 Europe, Asia, and Africa. Returning to the future, the vast virtual terraforming of the Space Frontier itself, in vast islanded Space Colonization, in vast wide area and local area networks, of the High Frontier, is the New World Frontier, inclusive of Home World Earth, for a majority life -- in addition to human life -- that will be where the nova outpouring into the solar system from the shrunken Old World will gradually and acceleratingly explode to. The expansion will be by way of mass conversion and energetic creation, not simple occupation and burrowing of what is there that won't do a thing for the breakout of Earth life really.
 
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Aug 8, 2021
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There are a lot of positives to the environment from the space industry. Yes it is polluting to make a satellite and put it into space, it needs mines, fuel, manufacturing, transport etc. But loads of our tangible measuring on the environment is done by satellites. A lot of the reporting on the environment also involves satellites at some point.

Narrowing down the space industry, to travel. Do you mean billionaire tourists going on a joyride? Do you also mean the sending of astronauts to the Space Station and the research done there? Do you mean the Artemis program?

The average CO2 emissions from a London to New York flight (and then return) is huge, usually for a petty reason as wanting to see a castle or shop, tourism isn't exactly a life necessity. Space tourism is extremely frivolous and polluting, I totally agree, but why draw the line at space tourism and not tourism by plane? A couple of launches for billionaires to float around in microgravity, is in the scheme of things, a negligible amount of pollution compared to all the plane flights.

Research, science and engineering from the Space Industry has trickled down into the lives of almost everyone on the planet. There have been quite a few things that are cost prohibitive for a research institution or a university thesis, but the space industry has tackled it. Aside from medical industries and aspects of Information Technology/telephony, there aren't many industries that employ thousands of big brained researchers, Space Industry employs lots of researchers on projects for clean, reliable power, water, air, food, and a myriad of things, it isn't all about rocket propulsion.

Tourism to a space station. It's the size of a small building. You don't open a window for fresh air, you don't just harvest water in rivers at a dam, to sustain life for months let alone an ongoing operation of years, it is going to be recycled, life within is going to be as unpolluting as possible. The footprint for your food, as much of it as is possible will be grown and made locally. That means, lot's of money on research, science and engineering on technologies involving clean living, atmosphere, water, food, those same technologies trickle back to earth. It doesn't preclude that sort of research for earthly reasons, but it is an imperative for space because they can't just open the window for fresh air, a privately funded space station won't spend thousands of dollars on shipping each meal like they do to the ISS, they will be making it locally. It could be, that stopping Space tourism in it's infancy holds back imperative research on our earthly issues.

Not an answer to your question sorry. But I think it's a question without simple answers because there are a lot of nuances, not factoring those in might lead to throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
 
Nov 3, 2021
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Does middle ground mean have the pollution? That's still an enormous amount. What is needed is other less polluting alternatives to be decided on and pursued and one or two finally accepted. Remember 10 minutes of tourist based Space travel equals massive quantities of pollution as C02 emissionshttps://www.space.com/environmental-impact-space-tourism-flights
Is there a trade-off? We need our young and brilliant scientists to be supported, invested in and have a durable solution as Space tourism is not going to disappear, nor should it. It needs responsible attention and research.
 
Aug 14, 2020
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It is only peripherally excess things mentioned above that will pay for the core things mentioned above. There were many visits to the New World looking only for profit before colonization finally took hold. Strip all the excess and it won't happen. The cost of core science and engineering will rise to infinity. And the costs of a shrinking closed systemic Earth without that outside frontier universe are already impoverishingly and maddeningly climbing entropically. Either pay whatever the price to reach and expand into the outside frontier, now, or pay an inexorably ever increasing higher price here on Earth for not doing it. And there is no compromising to be had; no shoving and slipping the imperative down the road waiting for some environment friendly space shuttle system to be developed. That just isn't going to happen.

It is only in a growing exchange of energies from a growing prosperity in a growing exodus of mankind and life in general, that anything positive will be done for the Earth and life remaining on Earth. The dynamic of an ever expanding two sided, two ended, frontier system exchanging expanding energies between them (and money is nothing more than a token of energy) is an imperative now that cannot wait upon anything.
 
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Nov 3, 2021
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Great post! Yet the investments to infinity must include a better attitude about that colonial mindset of pollute everything along the way, including the continual denial of repercussions and destructive approaches.
 

twr

Oct 23, 2019
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If you don't mean "climate blabla" that's a good question. The upper atmosphere is very fragile and I am hesitating to favor "space tourism". World tourism up to FL400 is enough.
If you think of "climate change", this is nonsense. There is no possibility for mankind to change the climate and either this or that way. Each "target" like the nonsense goal of 1,5°C is doomed to fail. That's only a political issue, believe me. We in Germany know that too well...
 

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