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The end of US space dreams

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posted on May, 21 2012 @ 07:08 AM
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Space Exploration: A Closing Window?

by Paul Gilster on May 9, 2012

Our expectations determine so much of what we see, which is one of the great lessons of Michael Michaud’s sweeping study of our attitudes toward extraterrestrial intelligence in Contact with Alien Civilizations (Springer, 2006). But extraterrestrials aside, I’ve also been musing over how our attitudes affect our perceptions in relation to something closer to home, the human space program. Recently I was reminded of Richard Gott’s views on the space program and the Copernican Principle, which suggest that just as our location in the universe is not likely to be special, neither is our location in time.

My expectation, for example, is that whether it takes one or many centuries, we will eventually have expanded far enough into the Solar System to make the technological transition to interstellar missions. But Gott (Princeton University) has been arguing since 2007 that there is simply no assurance of continued growth. In fact, his work indicates we are as likely to be experiencing the latter stages of the space program as its beginnings. The view is controversial and I like to return to it now and again because it so shrewdly questions all our assumptions.

So ponder a different, much more Earth-bound future, one in which funding for human spaceflight may end permanently. Examples abound, from the pyramid-building phase of Egypt’s civilization to the return of Cheng Ho’s fleet to China — not every wave of technology is followed up. Thus Gott, in a short but intriguing discussion called

A Goal for the Human Spaceflight Program:


Once lost, opportunities may not come again. The human spaceflight program is only 48 years old. The Copernican Principle tells us that our location is not likely to be special. If our location within the history of human space travel is not special, there is a 50% chance that we are in the last half now and that its future duration is less than 48 years (cf. Gott, 2007). If the human spaceflight program has a much longer future duration than this, then we would be lucky to be living in the first tiny bit of it. Bayesian statistics warn us against accepting hypotheses that imply our observations are lucky. It would be prudent to take the above Copernican estimate seriously since it assumes that we are not particularly lucky or unlucky in our location in time, and a wise policy should aim to protect us even against some bad luck. With such a short past track record of funding, it would be a mistake to count on much longer and better funding in the future.


This application of the Copernican Principle goes against my deepest presumptions, which is why I appreciate the intellectual gauntlet it hurls down. Because what Gott is sketching is a by no means impossible future, one in which the real question becomes how we can best use the technologies we have today and will have in the very near future to ensure species survival. Gott’s answer is that within the first half of this century or so, we will have the capability of planting a self-sustaining colony on Mars, making us a two-planet species and thus better protected against global disaster of whatever sort. We will have created an insurance policy for all humanity.

Let’s act, in other words, as if we don’t have the luxury of an unbroken line of gradual development, because an end to the space program some time in the 21st Century might mark the end of any chance we have to get into the Solar System, much less to the stars. Skip [the return to] the Moon, a hostile environment not conducive to colonization, and go for the one best chance for extending the species, a planet with water, reasonable gravity and the resources needed to get an underground base off to a survivable start. The real space race? The race to get a colony planted in the most likely spot before all funding for human spaceflight ends.

Gott is reminded of the library of Alexandria, a laudable effort to collect human knowledge but one that eventually burned, taking most (but thankfully not all) of Sophocles’ plays with it. Here he’s thinking of the surviving seven Sophoclean plays and weighing them against the 120 that the dramatist wrote, by way of making the case for off-world colonies as soon as possible:


We should be planting colonies off the Earth now as a life insurance policy against whatever unexpected catastrophes may await us on the Earth. Of course, we should still be doing everything possible to protect our environment and safeguard our prospects on the Earth. But chaos theory tells us that we may well be unable to predict the specific cause of our demise as a species. By definition, whatever causes us to go extinct will be something the likes of which we have not experienced so far. We simply may not be smart enough to know how best to spend our money on Earth to insure the greatest chance of survival here. Spending money planting colonies in space simply gives us more chances–like storing some of Sophocles’ plays away from the Alexandrian library.


As I said, this is bracing stuff (and thanks to Larry Klaes for the pointer). Gott is not the only one wondering whether there is a brief window that will allow us to move into the Solar System and then close, but he is becoming one of the more visible proponents of this view. The motto of the Tau Zero Foundation — ad astra incrementis — assumes a step-by-step process over what may be centuries to develop the technologies for travel to other stars. But Gott’s point is emphatic and much more urgent: For incremental development in space to occur, we should multiply the civilizations that can achieve it, spinning off colonies that back up what we have learned against future catastrophe.

That’s a job not for the distant future but for the next 4-5 decades. Gott reckons that if we put up into low Earth orbit as much tonnage in the next 48 years as we have in the last 48 years (in Saturn V and Shuttle launches alone) we could deliver 2,304 tons to the surface of Mars. And while he talks about heavy lift vehicles like the Ares V, we also have commercial companies like SpaceX with its Falcon Heavy concept and the continuing efforts of Robert Zubrin’s Mars Society to make something like this happen even absent massive government intervention.

Will the first interstellar mission be assembled not by an Earth team but by the scientists and engineers of a colony world we have yet to populate? There is no way to tell, but a Mars colony of the kind Gott advocates would give us at least one alternative to a future Earth with no viable space program and no prospects for energizing the species through an expansive wave of exploration. One colony can plant another, multiplying the hope not only of survival but renaissance. But all of it depends upon getting through a narrow temporal window that even now may be closing.




posted on May, 21 2012 @ 07:24 AM
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reply to post by bokonon2010
 


And your opinion is?......



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 07:48 AM
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Man has demonstrated he can leave Earth. I don't think the desire to explore space will end. It will become a private funded pursuit except for the military's killing - control aspects.

A major civilization changing event might delay it. Something like the collapse of society and economies, a new dark ages.



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 08:35 AM
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I think before one loses hope with regards to galactic travel you have to identify the problems that we as a species face right now.But before one addresses those issues lets take a look at this article.

Paul Gilster is a member of the Tau Zero Foundation which is a group of engineers and scientists that address the possibility of space travel and what it means for humanity as we descend further into the unknown with respect to issues we face here on on earth.
These scientists and engineers are predominantly from NASA and the European Space Agency ,they have either left or retired from the government agencies and came aboard with this particular foundation.
Now I will not dispute that government space programs very well could become extinct ,however I would bet my life that space exploration as a workable concept will become reality in the next 15 years,and this is why .
There is no doubt, or if there is, a person would have to be living in a cave [or watching CNN] same thing,that this planet is in a very dangerous transition and I say dangerous because I am referring to the possibility of a E.L.E that could eradicate mankind permanently this being said I know [not I think] that the military Industrial complex has broadened its mandate to take this threat seriously.This website did a feature on the Secret Space Program which all but gives pictures of the "Aurora" and "Nautilus" which use electro magnetic propulsion systems,there are many scientists coming out claiming that interstellar travel is already a reality.
There is too much information and designer specs being put out on the internet to not think that this is a reality.

However here is the problem"Disclosure"there absolutely no way that there will ever be official information released to the public concerning this matter ,space exploration has been filed into the realm of Black Budgets,no official statement given and thus I would not hold too much validity in what a "Foundation"says concerning the future of space travel, especially one that employs government scientists.
By the way these scientists are employed it is supposed to be a non profit "super charged" think tank but if you believe that I assume you believe that 2 huge office towers were brought down by two planes in a matter of 2 hrs ,with nothing more than jet fuel heating up hundreds of load bearing columns at the same time and weakening them enough to collapse .As well that same day Rumsfeld was supposed to face a congressional hearing on what happened to trillions of dollars that everyone seemed to be looking the other way when it disappeared.
My point is when does the light go on and people realise that the spoken and printed word that is issued from our so called elected leaders is nothing more than self serving propaganda,whether its a space program or alleged "threats" to national security.



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 09:02 AM
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.

How can anybody, especially Americans, accept the conventional consensus that our leaders let the shuttle and other manned missions fade away after decades without the next steps into space were being fashioned and brought to bear is utterly unbelieveable....or there is something else in the works?

Conventional, consensus thinking such as presented in this thread is a trick played on the public's mind by the secret keepers. (This seems to happen like clockwork about every week on ATS.)

Anybody with any sense of a general view of our world today can clearly see that those mysterious things that are know as UFOs are the ''missing link" to our quest for the exploration of space. Not that they are our equipment. True UFOs began coming in earnest after we displayed out capabilities with nuclear bombs. They belong to the visitors. Our own devices are the mysterious triangles that have been amply witnessed and recorded from about the mid-1970s.

My repeated refrain is that about twenty others and I witnessed a low, slow and silent triangle move over Laramie in 1998. These devices and others are the replacements for brute force space rockets and surely are space capable. They are kept secret for military reasons. By enlisting the Russians to do our boosts to the ISS for us, we delay the time for the release of the existence of these craft that otherwise, we would have to put into service to do that job. The Russians are happy to comply because they need the money we provide.

The coming of the UFOs have effected the world quite a bit more than the conventional view that denies them.



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 09:44 AM
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There's no monopoly on space exploration; the future of space exploration is [and always should have been] in the hands of the Henry Fords of the world. NASA and all state-funded space exploration is inefficient.

And for those who envision the progress of science and technology, like space exploration, as linear, then I refer you to Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions.



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 10:15 AM
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reply to post by QUEEQUEG
reply to post by Aliensun
 

v33v.tripod.com...

"People are already making bets that the war will be over in three or four or eight days. I see this as an enormous danger for us if these exaggerated hopes and illusions are not met. In the end, those carried away by enthusiasm will blame the government. I fear this excessive enthusiasm will end in great disappointment. That cannot happen. I have therefore given the press and radio firm instructions to reduce the revenge propaganda and keep to purely factual reporting."
-- Goebbels, 1944



edit on 21.5.2012 by bokonon2010 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 10:32 AM
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Here are some links referring to secret space program

unitednationsoffilm.com...

www.wired.com...

There are many more to qualify the realization that there is a secret space program that has been kept from the public for decades Richard C Hoagland talks quite a bit about reverse engineering that the USAF has kept hidden as well as the colonization of planets that has already begun.

"one can wipe a drop from an eye and still see, but when drops become a heavy downpour one must stop and re- examine the way forward"



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 11:05 AM
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So what if the United States has dropped the ball on manned spaceflight? In the 16th century, China sent out a fleet of ships to circumnavigate the world, then closed in on itself and stopped exploring. European nations then built their own fleets and went onto dominate the world. Recently, China has reawakened and has set out to make up for lost time. Manned spaceflight will advance in fits and spurts until human beings lose their humanity.



posted on May, 21 2012 @ 01:13 PM
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Originally posted by roadgravel
Man has demonstrated he can leave Earth. I don't think the desire to explore space will end. It will become a private funded pursuit except for the military's killing - control aspects.

A major civilization changing event might delay it. Something like the collapse of society and economies, a new dark ages.

Just like any other inventions/innovations/industries in the past where either it was used primarily by military or controlled by the government. Now the doors will be opened for private companies to carry forward the torch to make it less costlier in addition to the space tourism industry that just might catch on if it becomes cheaper


I would look out for stocks/shares in the private companies aiming at the Global Space Industry.
edit on 21-5-2012 by hp1229 because: edit content.



posted on May, 22 2012 @ 10:04 AM
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Originally posted by nerbot
reply to post by bokonon2010
 

And your opinion is?......


Certain homo subspecies will no be allowed to carry weapons or control the money;
then they might be kept as pets by our space friends.



posted on May, 22 2012 @ 10:53 AM
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"Egyptian Student Invents New Propulsion Method"
www.onislam.net...




posted on May, 23 2012 @ 12:36 AM
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Originally posted by Larryman
"Egyptian Student Invents New Propulsion Method"
www.onislam.net...




... and this:

"Mustafa's Space Drive: An Egyptian Student's Quantum Physics Invention"
www.fastcompany.com...



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 06:14 AM
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reply to post by Aliensun
 





True UFOs began coming in earnest after we displayed out capabilities with nuclear bombs. They belong to the visitors.

By enlisting the Russians to do our boosts to the ISS for us, we delay the time for the release of the existence of these craft that otherwise, we would have to put into service to do that job. The Russians are happy to comply because they need the money we provide.

The coming of the UFOs have effected the world quite a bit more than the conventional view that denies them.


So by your thinking ET prefers the US over the Russians. Does that make sense in the real world?

If they traveled light years to get here I don't think they would take sides.



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 06:19 AM
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reply to post by QUEEQUEG
 

One of your links refered to missing Quadrillions.

The entire planet hasn't generated that much money in its entire history.
Let alone have that much go missing without anyone knowing about it.



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 03:55 PM
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reply to post by samkent
 



Better sharpen your pencil and turn on the light my friend ,when dealing with anything in the military/industrial complex it starts at a billion,just ask Rumsfeld the day after 911 he was supposed to answer to a congressional committee about missing money,I even pasted a table quadrillion has 15 zeros,read the link below.



benjaminfulford.typepad.com...

Million, Billion, Trillion...

© Copyright 1999, Jim Loy


Number of zeros U.S. & scientific community Other countries
3 thousand thousand
6 million million
9 billion 1000 million (1 milliard)
12 trillion billion
15 quadrillion 1000 billion
18 quintillion trillion
21 sextillion 1000 trillion
24 septillion quadrillion
27 octillion 1000 quadrillion
30 nonillion quintillion
33 decillion 1000 quintillion
36 undecillion sextillion
39 duodecillion 1000 sextillion
42 tredecillion septillion
45 quattuordecillion 1000 septillion
48 quindecillion octillion
51 sexdecillion 1000 octillion
54 septendecillion nonillion
57 octodecillion 1000 nonillion
60 novemdecillion decillion
63 vigintillion 1000 decillion
66 - 120 undecillion - vigintillion
303 centillion
600 centillion
believe me the monetary system goes way beyond quadrillion, especially in dealing with the military industrial complex.



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 04:03 PM
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Originally posted by QUEEQUEG
I think before one loses hope with regards to galactic travel you have to identify the problems that we as a species face right now.But before one addresses those issues lets take a look at this article.



Our one true problem is that there are 4 or 5 billion to many of us trying to share what resrouces are left here on earth. If there were only a billion humans on the planet we would not be having all the problems we are having today.

Until we take our rampant population growth seriously and curtail it we are destined for failure at which point things will get corrected at great loss and pain.



posted on May, 23 2012 @ 04:09 PM
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reply to post by QUEEQUEG
 



believe me the monetary system goes way beyond quadrillion, especially in dealing with the military industrial complex.


I don't believe anyone who believes Fulford's rantings.


Nobody knows for certain how large the worldwide derivatives market is, but most estimates usually put the notional value of the worldwide derivatives market somewhere over a quadrillion dollars. If that is accurate, that means that the worldwide derivatives market is 20 times larger than the GDP of the entire world. It is hard to even conceive of 1,000,000,000,000,000 dollars.

Counting at one dollar per second, it would take you 32 million years to count to one quadrillion.


Some perspective.



posted on May, 24 2012 @ 05:35 AM
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Originally posted by Aliensun
These devices and others are the replacements for brute force space rockets and surely are space capable. They are kept secret for military reasons. By enlisting the Russians to do our boosts to the ISS for us, we delay the time for the release of the existence of these craft that otherwise, we would have to put into service to do that job. The Russians are happy to comply because they need the money we provide.


It is all about rocket sciences -- don't forget the true reasons why we went to Iraq:


The ancient Sumerian tablet depicts a spacecraft sent to now extinct US manned space pros.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 10:10 AM
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reply to post by DJW001
 


I think individuals have to look at their own belief system, and how far these cultural teachings that have been ingrained into our everyday thought patterns belies and represses us from enjoying the quality of life, ramblings are for people with no clear thought process of their own who dismiss things without a true knowledge of the subject matter ,


You dont have to believe anything Benjamin Fulford has to say ,the reality of our plight as a society speaks for itself, corruption among elected officials has soared ,excerpt taken from the Bush chronicles;

"If the American people ever find out what we have done,they will chase us down the streets and lynch us"George W Bush
edit on 25-5-2012 by QUEEQUEG because: (no reason given)



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