Time Mag. doesn't like commercial space

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docm

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Kluger seems to think only governments & NASA need apply....

http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2010/1 ... could-pay/

Vacationing in Space? The Planet Could Pay

Jeffrey Kluger

To hear Richard Branson tell it, your next vacation will be in space. On Friday, Branson, the swashbuckling CEO of Virgin Airlines and the newer Virgin Galactic, cut the ribbon on a 2-mi. (3.2 km) runway in La Cruces, N.M., which will be used in as little as 18 months, he promises, to begin carrying paying tourists into suborbital space. "This is the beginning of the second space age," he said.

Sounds like fun! But there are a few small problems, not the least being that the technology is unproven, even a small malfunction could kill you and in the event that you do come back in one piece, your 15-minute vacation would have cost you a minimum of $200,000. Now, on the very day of Branson's grand unveiling, add one more reason not to get too carried away by the talk of a coming boom in space tourism: according to a new study by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) all the rocketing around could make the atmospheric an even bigger mess than it is today.
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Certainly, these ghosts of pollutants future do not have to come to pass and the AGU acknowledges that just because the rocketeers predict such a robust launch schedule within the decade does not mean it will occur. There's a reason for the idiomatic meaning the term "rocket science" has acquired. It's an extraordinarily tricky technology—and one that exacts an extraordinarily high price for errors. It's hard to sell seats on vehicles that explode, and if the long history of rocketry proves anything it's that somewhere along the way, something always blows up. NASA and the space agencies of other nations have taken decades to master the business of extraterrestrial travel. The commercial sector enters the field at their passengers'—and the planet's—peril.
 
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Yuri_Armstrong

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My biology teacher said "Whenever you try to do something meaningful, you can bet people will be lining up at the door to critisize you for it".

This reporter sounds like an armchair quarterback displaying his bitterness and pessimism at Virgin Galactic because he knows he can get more views due to the "giggle factor".

It is truly sad that some people think this way. Mr. Branson and his company have worked very hard on this endeavour, and they have been quite successful so far. True, there may be some environmental damage, but commercial space are not the ones to pick on for this. I think that question applies more to oil companies who have abused fossil fuels and created the environmental problems that we have today.

Also, he is trying to compare Virgin Galactic's begging to the beginning of NASA and the Soviet space program, which is not fair at all. Back in the late 50's and early 60's we knew almost nothing about rocketry and how to get into space, failure happened quite often. But now shooting satellites and manned ships into space is routine and we have not had any major disasters or failures recently. I'm sure the engineers at VG have been paying attention, there will be some failures but that is inevitable in any business venture.
 
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SteveCNC

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Yeah he does sound a bit bitter for some reason plus he didn't really even look into the real facts around what he said . Almost looks like a thread on a forum rather than a professional article . First off the price for a sub-orbital flight will cost maximum $200,000.00 not minimum . The price is expected to drop dramatically over the first couple years of operation .

There is an issue with it's particular propellant that does need to be worked on to reduce or eliminate the high altitude soot but it doesn't appear unsolvable in fact there may be a way to turn it into a good thing for global warming in the end . As for proven technology , today isn't the same as it was in the 60's which seems to be where this guy is stuck , computer models can very accurately display loads and stress conditions on air frames now , back in the 60's it was still a lot of guessing . So the technology is fairly well proven and has even been demonstrated with SS1 , There are still tests yet to be done before it is opened up to ticket holders but from my perspective as a aerospace machinist , SS2 will do what it is supposed to with no problems .

BTW your link seems to be broke to Jeffrey Kluger .
 
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Crossover_Maniac

Guest
I knew this would happen sooner or later. The eco-priests, in the name of their pagan earth goddess, is waging war against the heresies known as technological progress and capitalism. They want to stop the commercialization of space dead in its tracks. They're gearing up to scare the public and lobby Congress to punish the heretics and force all of mankind to stay inside the womb of their mother Gaia. It's time that put these bozos in their place once and for all, tell them all to piss off, and feed them our rocket exhaust as humanity leaves the cradle and takes its place amongst the stars.
 
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BenS1985

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I see few got the part where it was Time magazine. Their writers would be attacking a person if they invented a machine that ended world hunger, because the inventor may collect too many royalties from the device.

@Yuri - your biology teacher is certainly right. Some people deride success and innovation.
 
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andrew_t1000

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Sir Richard is used to this crap, it'll be like water off a ducks back!

Think about all the grief his "projects" have attracted, the trans Atlantic boat trip, especially when he had to be rescued, his balloon trips especially seemed to attract a lot of anger.

What's the point of working your guts out if when you do get rich, you do nothing with your money?
Only Scrooge McDuck sits in his vault and counts coins and bills!

The idea that space tourism is worse than normal air travel in terms of pollution is silly.

Seriously, how many aircraft are in the air right now?
 
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neutrino78x

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andrew_t1000":3gnlstwq said:
The idea that space tourism is worse than normal air travel in terms of pollution is silly.

Seriously, how many aircraft are in the air right now?
You're probably right, but ideally, I would like all rockets and aircraft to be fueled by hydrogen, or another zero emission technology. :)

--Brian
 
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docm

Guest
Like many "zero emission"'fuels, LH2 isn't if the substantial energy used to produce it isn't "green."
 
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Space_pioneer

Guest
This is quite hilarious. Especially considering that planes have an insane effect on the temperture. During the three day shutdown on air travel after 9/11, there was an insane drop in the average temperature. This was because the numerous planes had created a thin artificial cloud layer, which blocked the heat during the day, and kept heat inside the atomsphere during the night.

Space launches will not have the same effect. Unless we have thousands of ships gliding over the suborbital sky, splurting emissions everywhere, they will not have much effect on the enviroment.
 
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bdewoody

Guest
Watched a program on the National Geographic Channel last night about Spaceship II. It covered the entire build right up to last week's drop test. It was very interesting and revealed how much care is being taken to insure the safety of the paying passengers they hope to be carrying soon. I didn't see anything about how many powered flights will be required to certify the system as safe to carry passengers though. Toward the end of the program there was discussion about Branson's dreams of the future with space hotels. One of the images showed a vessel similar to Spaceship II docked with an orbital platform. I'm not sure how they plan to get it up to orbital speed or in reverse de-orbit from 17,000mph without substantially more heat shielding.
 
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MeteorWayne

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Space_pioneer":23a3npm5 said:
This is quite hilarious. Especially considering that planes have an insane effect on the temperture. During the three day shutdown on air travel after 9/11, there was an insane drop in the average temperature. This was because the numerous planes had created a thin artificial cloud layer, which blocked the heat during the day, and kept heat inside the atomsphere during the night.
Not correct. The average temperature changed very little; the diurnal change increased. It got warmer in the daytime (more sunlight) and cooler at night (more radiation into space.)
 
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rcsplinters

Guest
Gosh, I missed this thread. I'm reminded of the days where the planet cringed at the thought of a Saturn V launch bringing dramatic change to Earth's axis or maybe even knocking it out of orbit.

While I may not be in favor of public subsidy of commercial space flight, this drama involving environmental change based on commercial launches is silly. It has every bit the creditibility of Sasquatch, the loch ness monster, yeti, our falsified landing on the moon or a second gun on the grassy knoll.

You gotta wonder where this stuff comes from.
 
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