Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/12/safety-first-is-the-mantra-for.shtml http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/12/safety-first-is-the-mantra-for.shtml en-gb 30 Thu 18 Dec 2014 01:25:15 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/12/safety-first-is-the-mantra-for.shtml l33t_sh1tz0r http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/12/safety-first-is-the-mantra-for.shtml?page=90#comment9 sorry to rain on any parades but "space" is a lethal environment filled with nasties galore, among them, deadly levels of ionizing and cosmic radiation. they kill with certainty and thus, "space" is not a playground for living creatures; the amount of launches required to get enough shielding in orbit means the improvements in cost required are an order of magnitude (1000x), not 10x or 100x, even... to further confound those still yearning for the good ol' days of sci-fi, the only option is fixed locations on other celestial bodies, example: the moon, but the cost of getting something from orbit to the moon is another 100x to 1000x, pretty hard to get your mass that distance in a safe enough amount of time, depending on the shielding you have, and have it land safely and have somewhere sheltered to remain, all other costs associated notwithstanding...truly, we are insane to fund manned space programs whilst machines could do it all without our frailties; truly we are insane to research deep space with the amounts of money we do when the amout of hunger releived would be so much greater...and it is folly to suggest that microwave ovens or teflon or whatever outweigh the benefits of human life instead of human death or suffering... that person who doesn't starve might invent the cure for cancer much more quickly than scientists OR robots on a space station might; don't believe the space-junkies too seriously, or they'll sell you their version of everything (where hammers cost $800, toilet seats $1600, etc...)good luck all! Mon 04 Jan 2010 12:46:30 GMT+1 Mike Mullen http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/12/safety-first-is-the-mantra-for.shtml?page=80#comment8 "Sir, you have been spoiled by two world wars and a cold war. You have taken for granted the circumstances under which the airplane and spaceflight rapidly developed."A point all too often forgotten. There was a wave of aerospace technology that came out of WWII and it peaked somewhere around the time of Apollo and Concorde. Since then there's essentially been a period of greater refinement of existing technology. Perhaps this burgeoning era of commercial spaceflight can power a new wave of real advances. Fri 11 Dec 2009 19:13:36 GMT+1 adjutant http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/12/safety-first-is-the-mantra-for.shtml?page=70#comment7 Of course they could take a leaf out of NASA's textbook, and dump the spacecraft in the Atlantic after every test flight ...Do you have an axe to grind with NASA? Or do really not know about the Space Shuttle orbiter?@freddawlanenSeems to me like you want to blame America for everything, even for the speed at which new technology is developed, not taking into account several other factors. Primarily, the fact that the Space Race is no more.Sir, you have been spoiled by two world wars and a cold war. You have taken for granted the circumstances under which the airplane and spaceflight rapidly developed. Yes, we would all like it if the governments of the world all dumped their money into the space industry, but that is not realistic, because there are millions of other people who want the governments to spend their money on what they think is best. As a space enthusiast, one must come out of the bubble and realize that there are people who think there are a hundred different things that are much more important than spaceflight. It hurts to admit, but sometimes they're right.If I was Richard Branson with millions to spend, I would fund my own space adventure too. But you see, he has that luxury. You and I don't. Most we could do is come to Spaceman's blog and whine about why America isn't funding my favorite space pet project. Thu 10 Dec 2009 18:08:35 GMT+1 freddawlanen http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/12/safety-first-is-the-mantra-for.shtml?page=60#comment6 I agree Stephen Ashworth, at over 40 years since we first put a man on the moon, it seems like we've almost gone backwards in manned space travel, why hasn't a reliable and convenient method of getting in to space been found yet?I think a lot has to do with how America funds anything, as the largest contributor (in $$$$) to space exploration and research it seems too reliant on a very few companies who care little about research into new technologies, knowing that they will have a guaranteed income anyway.More credit should be given to Virgin and any others who are looking to the futue.Maybe a government investment would see both quicker development of cheap space travel and a greater future return for our money than the bailing out of, outdated industry and mismanaged banks. Wed 09 Dec 2009 16:24:11 GMT+1 Stephen Ashworth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/12/safety-first-is-the-mantra-for.shtml?page=50#comment5 Half a century after the Wright brothers first flew an aeroplane, air traffic was at a level of several million passengers per year. Forty-eight years after Yuri Gagarin we have about 30 space travellers per year, only one or two of whom actually pay for their own ticket, and the prospect of a reduction in even this minuscule number as NASA leads a full-scale retreat from manned spaceflight.So I hope that Virgin Galactic will be the start of something very big.Copenhagen ... yes, an interesting juxtaposition of pessimism versus optimism. The message from SpaceShipTwo is that humankind has an infinite future, based on commercial enterprises in space. These could be the engine of sustainable growth for the next half millennium. Like the period of globalisation from around 1500 to 2000, the period of multi-globalisation on a Solar System scale depends on commercial return.The obvious point here is that low-cost access to orbit could enable space solar power to make a large-scale contribution to future low-pollution industrial energy demand. SpaceShipTwo will not reach orbit, but by demonstrating that personal space exploration is a viable commercial concept, it may make funding of orbital spaceplanes such as Skylon, Spacebus and Sänger easier -- provided of course that Virgin delivers on safety. Of course they could take a leaf out of NASA's textbook, and dump the spacecraft in the Atlantic after every test flight ...Stephen Tue 08 Dec 2009 13:51:08 GMT+1 Mike Mullen http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/12/safety-first-is-the-mantra-for.shtml?page=40#comment4 3#"Am I alone in thinking that rocket-based solutions to this will never work? The brave solution is to build the Space Elevator - which will reduce the cost to space per kg to pennies. We should be investing in carbon nanotube tech - the rest is engineering and money. Studies have shown that a space elevator could be built for $10b - Nasa's budget for a year, of which 80%+ is spent on launch"Well yes we need better technology but the Falcon9 should cut costs and if the Skylon works out that should bring it down still further, not ot mention the potential for SpaceShip Three and other commercial ventures. Also puzzled as to where that $10 billion estimate comes from when you also seem to be saying that further materials research is required? 4#"It's an exciting prospect, but not one I personally would want public money put into. Private VC will fund it if it stands a chance of being profitable."I'm afraid I don't share your faith in veture capital, I don't think any financial institution has the imagination for a long term venture such as launcher One, certainbly not in the UK. SpaceX has received funding directly through the US COTS program and running crew and cargo to the goverment sponsored ISS is a cornerstone of their business plan. Tue 08 Dec 2009 13:47:04 GMT+1 Ken Appleby http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/12/safety-first-is-the-mantra-for.shtml?page=30#comment3 Jonathan: Thank you for the link. That's very interesting, and it certainly does look like totally different technology after 50,000 ft! It's an exciting prospect, but not one I personally would want public money put into. Private VC will fund it if it stands a chance of being profitable.That said, $100m is just about the accounting noise level for the NHS IT project, soon to be truncated. Tue 08 Dec 2009 12:58:00 GMT+1 MacBurp http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/12/safety-first-is-the-mantra-for.shtml?page=20#comment2 "But we have somehow to reduce the cost of access to space. Space-borne services bring enormous benefits to all on planet Earth (see yesterday's blog on MTG) and we could do much more if it wasn't so dashed hard and expensive to get up there."Am I alone in thinking that rocket-based solutions to this will never work? The brave solution is to build the Space Elevator - which will reduce the cost to space per kg to pennies. We should be investing in carbon nanotube tech - the rest is engineering and money.Studies have shown that a space elevator could be built for $10b - Nasa's budget for a year, of which 80%+ is spent on launch Tue 08 Dec 2009 12:40:57 GMT+1 Jonathan Amos http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/12/safety-first-is-the-mantra-for.shtml?page=10#comment1 @Ken. Read here. This relates to the LauncherOne project which would loft satellites via an air-launched rocket system not dissimilar to the US Pegasus system. Tue 08 Dec 2009 12:12:52 GMT+1 Ken Appleby http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/12/safety-first-is-the-mantra-for.shtml?page=0#comment0 What does Will Whitehorn mean by their "satellite launch business?" Getting to orbit requires a gain in velocity of around 7 km per second. SS2 does not reach orbit. It just goes straight up (and down) without reaching anything like those speeds, something like 1 km per second.To go seven times faster requires altogether different technology, surely? Tue 08 Dec 2009 11:56:45 GMT+1