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A Private Space Shuttle

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posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 02:04 PM
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09 October 09
In the early 1970s, Freeman Dyson wrote an essay comparing space travel to the colonization of the New World and the settlement of the American West. The subject was fanciful, but that didn't keep Dyson, an eminent physicist and writer for the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, from making a meticulous effort to quantify and compare the costs of these vastly different ventures. From letters of Gov. William Bradford of the Plymouth Colony, Dyson calculated that the Mayflower's voyage in 1620 from England to Massachusetts cost the average family about 7.5 years in wages. The westward trek of the Mormons in the 1840s cost each family about 2.5 years, according to records left behind by Brigham Young, the Mormon leader. Even a modest space voyage, Dyson calculated, would set the average family back 1,500 years in wages. The difference reflected the relative difficulty of space travel, but also the limitations of big government programs to do things on the cheap.

Rest of the story



Nothing has happened in the past 40 years to suggest that NASA has come any closer to the commercial sweet spot of the Colonial settlers. The International Space Station, for instance, built and maintained at a cost that by some estimates approaches $100 billion, houses six astronauts


There are private endeavors going on now, Robert Bigelow has an amazing program you can read
more at Bigelow Aerospace


[edit on 16-10-2009 by Aquarius1]

[edit on 16-10-2009 by Aquarius1]

[edit on 16-10-2009 by Aquarius1]




posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 02:59 PM
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SHOTGUN!

I'm starting to really enjoy your posts Aquarius! Keep up the good work!

There is one pretty big difference between the colonials settling operation, and ours of space.

AIR

when the settler's arrived in america, there were people here already!

With enough wood and some favorable winds, a chipmunk could have made it.

yet vertical destinations limit us significantly.

FUEL

we have to carry enough fuel to lift us and the craft, then we have to carry more fuel to lift that fuel, and fuel for that fuel!

another big problem...

FOOD

the settlers only needed enough food to get here. astronauts have to take theirs, and enough for the stay, and enough to come back (hopefully) which weighs a lot when talking about months worth just for one way to mars.

and you get back into the fuel to carry that food too!

so 1,500 years worth starts to look a little like, "I'm surprised that's it!".

if all i needed was a plank of wood and something to catch wind, i could bring some fishing line and trick birds into thinking im dead, catch them and use them for bait, and eat along the way, then i would have been at mars last week!

good article though! S&F



 
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