Showing posts from May, 2011

Rebirth Of The Spaceship

Over the last year the space advocate community has splintered into two major groups in answering the question "where should we go next?" Moon First or Mars First. This division was present in the Review of Human Spaceflight (aka Augustine) committee's final report in late 2009, with the surprising conclusion that there isn't the funds for either, suggesting a number of intermediate destinations first - including asteroids. However, as few people consider asteroids to be truly interesting destinations for the human utilization of space (except me!), the debate rages on.

Many Moon First advocates are "Mars Next" advocates while most Mars First advocates are "Moon Again?" detractors. The former claim that Mars exploration will benefit from lunar exploration, particularly in experience and risk reduction, and perhaps the procurement of propellant. The latter claim that lunar exploration is just a distraction and want to avoid the risk of being …

You've gotta love him

For anyone who wonders why I still love Bob Zubrin, watch this video:

It's the passion.

For anyone who needs a horrific demonstration of closed world thinking, combined with a little intellectual elitism, read on.

Please Stop Lying To Children

Here in Australia we have a shameless tradition of claiming celebrities who are not quite Australian. The best example of this is probably Mel Gibson - back when anyone wanted to claim him - who wasn't actually born in Australia, he just lived here for a portion of his childhood. It is generally agreed that anyone who was born in New Zealand can never be considered an Australian (just kidding kiwis, we love you) but if they're famous they're automatically Australian. The common joke is that any celebrity who so much as flies over Australia will be offered citizenship.

Something like the Australian celebrity phenomena happens when people start talking about NASA spinoffs, here's how it works: a speaker creates the implication that civil servant NASA scientists developed some new technology which was subsequently "spun off" to form a commercial product. The most common example of this is Velcro, but there are plenty of others. Whenever you dig into these c…