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SpaceShip One


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#1    schadeaux

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 07:52 PM

One of the long standing debates I have seen here and in many other places is the question of man actually walking on the moon.  Did Apollo 11 actually make it there?  Did Armstrong and Aldrin really conduct the first EVA on another planet on 20 July, 1969?  Or was it all a scam cooked up by a government program overwhelmed by the shear enormity of the task, confounded by failure, yet driven by a president’s commitment to superiority in the “space race?”

With the success of the private venture SpaceShip One this week, it seems that the speculations surrounding the “man on the moon” conspiracy may be answered soon, in our lifetime.  A private vehicle has made the first step, exiting earth’s atmosphere and returned safely. The next step in the evolution would be a private manned flight to the moon.  

So now the question is, how far will the government let it go?  What if our new Capt Kirk gets there ten years from now, looks around, and notices a shocking lack of a US Flag?  Or no footprints from the previous astronauts or their landing craft?  What if the landscape is totally different than the images sent back to us forty five years before?

Any thoughts on this one?


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To think and not study is dangerous."
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#2    BurnSide

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 07:59 PM

Interesting stuff. That really be the only way to make everyone believe one way or another.

But the problem is, when we get there and see no lunar lander or flag, what's to stop everyone saying 'yeah well they just didn't land in the right place'.


#3    Chauncy

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 08:39 PM

Well I don't think that that urban legend is even remotely true, the U.S did land on the moon, to say anything else is complete rubbish.

Your on to something here though, there will be a myth busted. A matter of fact one already has. And it has to do with how much it costs to go into space. The inflated budget of NASA will be revealed.

A CNN article had this to say in this regards. "In a press statement last December, Allen said: "SpaceShipOne is a tangible example of continuing humankind's efforts to travel into space, effectively demonstrating that private resources can make a big difference in this field of discovery and invention."

I think the threat of private ventures such as this will give NASA the proverbial kick in the pants. They have long been the mediaries between us and space.

If a small percentage of the most affluent people on the planet pooled their cash together we would have one hell of a space program.

Hopefully this will force NASA to embrace the private sector for future endeavors.

As long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost and science can never regress.
Julius Robert Oppenheimer. (1904-1967)
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#4    schadeaux

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 09:42 PM

QUOTE (BurnSide @ Jun 22 2004, 12:59 PM)
Interesting stuff. That really be the only way to make everyone believe one way or another.

But the problem is, when we get there and see no lunar lander or flag, what's to stop everyone saying 'yeah well they just didn't land in the right place'.

There are several landing sites to choose from: Apollo 11, 12, and 14 – 17.  From historical records we know almost exactly where the Lunar Modules landed.

And like any good tourist, the Apollo crews left some garbage behind: instruments, cameras, tools, boots, bags, arm rests, brackets, a power cable, a tiny gold olive branch, commemorative medallions and their life-support backpacks.  Shouldn’t be too awful hard to detect human presence on an otherwise (supposedly) lifeless rock.  Even the footprints will be around for thousands of years.

And I agree with Chauncy, I do believe man made the trip.  And NASA may have some budget justifications to face once SpaceShip 5 or whatever gets there for a fraction of the cost.  But on the other side, back then the space program was cutting edge, never before tried stuff.  A lot of it was trial and error, which can be somewhat costly.

"To study and not think is a waste.
To think and not study is dangerous."
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#5    jonfr

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 09:53 PM

QUOTE (schadeaux @ Jun 22 2004, 10:42 PM)
QUOTE (BurnSide @ Jun 22 2004, 12:59 PM)
Interesting stuff. That really be the only way to make everyone believe one way or another.

But the problem is, when we get there and see no lunar lander or flag, what's to stop everyone saying 'yeah well they just didn't land in the right place'.

There are several landing sites to choose from: Apollo 11, 12, and 14 – 17.  From historical records we know almost exactly where the Lunar Modules landed.

And like any good tourist, the Apollo crews left some garbage behind: instruments, cameras, tools, boots, bags, arm rests, brackets, a power cable, a tiny gold olive branch, commemorative medallions and their life-support backpacks.  Shouldn’t be too awful hard to detect human presence on an otherwise (supposedly) lifeless rock.  Even the footprints will be around for thousands of years.

And I agree with Chauncy, I do believe man made the trip.  And NASA may have some budget justifications to face once SpaceShip 5 or whatever gets there for a fraction of the cost.  But on the other side, back then the space program was cutting edge, never before tried stuff.  A lot of it was trial and error, which can be somewhat costly.

That's why the call it an test  wink2.gif  

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#6    schadeaux

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 05:41 PM

QUOTE (jonfr @ Jun 22 2004, 02:53 PM)
That's why the call it an test  wink2.gif

Tests don't necessarily have to be expensive.  Engineering Design and Development is where the cost comes in.  It's wasn't like they could go down to DELL and order a nav computer with extended RAM.  The systems they used had about as much computing power as your nifty wristwatch/calculator combo.  They tweeked what existed to fit their needs, and what didn’t exist they built from scratch.

"To study and not think is a waste.
To think and not study is dangerous."
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