US Space Force is launching more missions than ever. Lawmakers worry America's spaceports can't keep up

Dec 25, 2023
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It seems so crazy how SpaceX is revolutionizing orbital launches. At first, I couldn’t visualize how a rocket could land, but now I’m wondering why it took this long for a visionary to make it happen.
 
Way back in the early days of space fiction, rockets routinely landed vertically in such series as Flash Gordon. Of course, the Apollo lunar lander did that on the Moon about 1970. But, doing it for real and robotically with a launch vehicle starting from the edge of space takes some serious problem solving. Engines have to restart while the vehicle is falling, and then quickly rotate it to the vertical position, then slow it to zero velocity at the landing altitude. So, things like making sure that the remaining fuel in the tanks is near the outlet to the rocket motors, determining what "vertical" really is, sensing the rocket's attitude relative to vertical, sensing speed relative to the landing pad, sensing east/west and north/south relationship to the landing pad, and computing all of this rapidly enough to swivel motors and modulate thrust for a soft landing required a lot of technological development to do for real.
 
May 20, 2024
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It is telling and too bad that the Climate Change science and monitoring community cant get such funding, especially as climate change is the number one threat to the survival of humans. But humanity would rather work on greed and hubris like a frog in a slowly boiling pot of water. Seems the climate change and science deniers rule the day. As we pass 427 ppm CO2 on our way towards 550+ ppm before 2075, we will be on the brink of all previous mass extinctions on Earth. Tipping points and ecosystem collapses will likely occur along the way, and the militaries (and military industrial complex) of Earth have no plans or means of fighting this, nor do they care to. Sadly, as money costs of climate disasters continues to rise, money will be moved further and further away from all space science, and even human spaceflight will likely come to an end (especially with no clear path on how to deal with this eventuality). Humans on mass will not change their current behaviors until forced to.
 
Dec 25, 2023
13
2
15
Visit site
It is telling and too bad that the Climate Change science and monitoring community cant get such funding, especially as climate change is the number one threat to the survival of humans. But humanity would rather work on greed and hubris like a frog in a slowly boiling pot of water. Seems the climate change and science deniers rule the day. As we pass 427 ppm CO2 on our way towards 550+ ppm before 2075, we will be on the brink of all previous mass extinctions on Earth. Tipping points and ecosystem collapses will likely occur along the way, and the militaries (and military industrial complex) of Earth have no plans or means of fighting this, nor do they care to. Sadly, as money costs of climate disasters continues to rise, money will be moved further and further away from all space science, and even human spaceflight will likely come to an end (especially with no clear path on how to deal with this eventuality). Humans on mass will not change their current behaviors until forced to.
I totally agree with everything you said. It's very frustrating that the climate deniers always talk about CO2 as being less than a percent of the atmosphere as if that actually means anything. A small amount of CO2 up or down produces drastic changes but people are just looking for any excuse to do nothing. They also talk endlessly about how expensive it will be to fix the problem ignoring the fact that it will be exponentially more expensive if we do nothing. That is so frustrating.
 
. . . . Humans on mass will not change their current behaviors until forced to.
That is not correct. Humans will change their behaviors when the see an opportunity to make their lives better. They are resistant to making their lives worse, especially if the supposed "benefit" to them is delayed/predicted or if it is only to someone else.

Yes, people make excuses to not change when they don't want to make the change that others propose. But, those making the proposed changes also make excuses that sometimes turn out to be false promises - destroying their own credibility.

The problem the proponents of behavior changes to avoid climate change are having is two-fold. First, it will cost the average person money they don't have and "convenience" they are not sure they can do without. Some of that is going to happen whether the majority of the pubic really understands it or not, such as increased costs of electric systems to provide the green generation, green energy storage, and transmission needed to get it to the users.

But, things like electric automobiles are not selling to "the masses", and for valid reasons. I have suggested before that we need to be smarter about how we manage the transitions.

For example, a hybrid car that gets about 100 miles on battery alone, but has on-board charging capability with a gasoline or diesel powered generator, would satisfy a lot more people than the currently available options. It would be a way to get a lot of the current driving done on electric power, without making most people need 2 cars, one electric and one to do the things that electric doesn't do well or at all. If those cars made up the bulk of out private vehicles, most of our driving would get done with electric power. And, as batteries increase in capacity and longevity, that will quickly lead to decreased fuel use in cars that are already manufactured, simply by changing the batteries, saving CO2 emissions of manufacturing totally new vehicles.

We need to stop trying to insist on what activists call "perfect" and get to what consumers call good enough.

But, while we are at it, we also need to recognize that sea level is going to rise, and that is going to inundate a lot of our coastal infrastructure. We cannot "stop sea level rise". Even if humans did not exist, sea level would probably rise about 25 feet higher than it is now, just as it did 120,000 years ago in the last warm period, before it dropped 325 feet at the peak of the last ice age. Yes, humans are probably affecting that cycle to some degree, and the sea level may rise farther and faster than if we never had any industry. But, at this point, we are not even in a condition where we can even slow down whatever speedup we have created for several decades. So, trying to tell people that we need stop driving gasoline cars now to save the Marshall Islands, for instance, can be shown to be a scam argument. We need activists to speak only the truth if they are going to gain the credibility they need to get people to decide to make changes.
 
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