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Thread: Will space and globalisation save mankind from its woe's ?

  1. #1

    Default Will space and globalisation save mankind from its woe's ?

    Those of us with even a basic knowledge of physics know that every single one of our resource problems and many of mankind's other problems will be solved, along with the arrival of many wonderful new economic and social opportunities, just as soon as we become a spacefaring race.

    Life for a european was utterly changed as soon as science began to given parity of esteem with religious philosophy and people such as Christopher Columbus began to explore beyond the known world of the time.

    It occurs to me that something similar is afoot at this time in our history, globalisation and the communications revolution is beginning to replace nationalism, we have already begun to tentatively explore space and the concept of globalisation has moved beyond mere economics into almost every facet of our lives including science (perhaps science was the first globalisor) .

    Yet the problem of ready and affordable access to space still remains, no matter how many times you do the sums, a rocket still needs to reach 17,000 mph in order to escape Earth's gravity and most of the costs of a space launch involves the chicken and egg situation of the rocket carrying enough fuel to reach escape velocity which means the rocket has to be bigger and so more fuel is..... , the cost of launching a payload into orbit has decreased since the 1960's but it is still a very expensive procedure.

    Of course many solutions to this problem have been proposed and a few are being seriously researched and we can expect that within a few decades we might see the first space elevator beginning construction just as soon as the lads and lassies currently working on carbon nanotubes get the finger out and begin building or growing carbon nanotube cable longer than a few inches .

    But as in everyday life, often its not the lads working on the big glamorous projects which keep the ball rolling, sometimes its the less ambitous but well thought out smaller step which hurries us to our destiny.

    I especially like the 3D printer part of this project, thats real innovation.

    Asteroid-mining 'FireFlys' will be ready for action by 2015, vows space firm

    A second commercial venture to mine the near infinite resources of outer space has been started, and Deep Space Industries (DSI) is promising its spacecraft and 3D printers will allow successful mining operations within a decade.

    The venture says that it will have its first class of 55lb (25kg) "FireFly" probes ready for action by 2015, hitching a ride on other commercial launches, and during their six-month missions will explore Near Earth Objects (NEO) for useful materials.

    Gump explained that the probes wouldn't just be looking for metals, but also for liquids that can be broken down into oxygen, hydrogen and methane and used to refuel satellites once it has been brought back into the Earth's orbit, adding another revenue stream.
    "It cost around $20,000 per kilo to get the fuel for a geosynchronous satellite into position, we're sure we can supply it more cheaply than that," he said. "If you can then extend the lives of these satellites, then operators will be able to save millions of dollars in costs."
    Key to the success of the project will be DSI's patent-pending 3D printing technology, dubbed the Microgravity Foundry. He said..........................................

    "We will only be visitors in space until we learn how to live off the land there," said DSI chairman and long-time space activist Rick Tumlinson in a statement.

    "We are squarely focused on giving new generations the opportunity to change not only this world, but all the worlds of tomorrow. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

    Read the entire article here
    Asteroid-mining 'FireFlys' will be ready for action by 2015, vows space firm ? The Register


    And its nice to know that real cutting edge R&D takes place in Ireland 2013
    , nice one UCC, Moore's law safe for another while and it proves my point above about globalisation and the communications revolution perfectly.
    Best regards, Pat.Twitter-energy economy news _ _ Each to their ability, together we progress.

  2. #2
    Politics.ie Member harshreality's Avatar
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    Good thing this wasn't placed in the current affairs forum Pat because you are lookin wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy into the future boy!

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    Politics.ie Member DownTheyGo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harshreality View Post
    Good thing this wasn't placed in the current affairs forum Pat because you are lookin wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy into
    the future boy!
    But he's on the money in some sense.

    It is only a matter of time before colonies are set up in far flung places where rich deposits of resources are located.

    Granted, seismic exploration remains the quest but I'm confident in time (no idea how much time) a good deal of scarce resources will be found outside of planet earth.

    Nothing on the scale of Prometheus however

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    The kind of space programs needed are many centuries in the future,what would we mine for, the cost of taking something back from space would be so expensive it would not be worth it,for me the whole thing is a no go,in the end with China,India etc needs for more energy, we will all have to do with less.Oil is by far the best source of energy available and when it slows thats it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DownTheyGo View Post
    But he's on the money in some sense.

    It is only a matter of time before colonies are set up in far flung places where rich deposits of resources are located.

    Granted, seismic exploration remains the quest but I'm confident in time (no idea how much time) a good deal of scarce resources will be found outside of planet earth.

    Nothing on the scale of Prometheus however
    How do you take them back,and if you could they would burn on entry

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by harshreality View Post
    Good thing this wasn't placed in the current affairs forum Pat because you are lookin wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy into the future boy!
    harshreality,

    I have just about come to terms with the fact a middleaged man, no matter how fit and handsome, like míse is not going to around to see the final result but it will be nice to watch the pieces slowly slide into place.

    Thats why I referenced the Firefly project, its a well thought out and doable step along the way.

    But how will politicians like Jackie Healy Rae deal with the globalisation of politics eh
    Best regards, Pat.Twitter-energy economy news _ _ Each to their ability, together we progress.

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    Politics.ie Member DownTheyGo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cinnte View Post
    How do you take them back,and if you could they would burn on entry
    The challenge for many decades and centuries ahead.

    I can envisage a time when a lifestyle choice is on offer to consider living in far flung places far from earth.

    It's out there, granted, but "its what I choose to believe"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Gill View Post
    Of course many solutions to this problem have been proposed and a few are being seriously researched and we can expect that within a few decades we might see the first space elevator beginning construction just as soon as the lads and lassies currently working on carbon nanotubes get the finger out and begin building or growing carbon nanotube cable longer than a few inches .
    Pat,

    I believe research is underway into combining the space elevator with the Archimedes Bridge so hopefully it will be a lot sooner than decades.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by cinnte View Post
    How do you take them back,and if you could they would burn on entry
    The Firefly project expects one of its first products to be rocket fuel supplied to existing satellite owners to enable their satellites to stay in orbit longer.

    In a similar vein if fuel could be produced in space and supplied in near earth orbit, then the cost of rocket launches would be slashed.

    As the man said in the OP, "We will only be visitors in space until we learn how to live off the land there,"

    Besides the space elevator will solve the problem of supplying the earth with gold, diamonds and hydrocarbons
    Best regards, Pat.Twitter-energy economy news _ _ Each to their ability, together we progress.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by General Mayhem View Post
    Pat,

    I believe research is underway into combining the space elevator with the Archimedes Bridge so hopefully it will be a lot sooner than decades.
    Well that would help to cushion the physical forces acting on the tether, but can you imagine the traffic jams getting to the new station they will have to build.
    Best regards, Pat.Twitter-energy economy news _ _ Each to their ability, together we progress.

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