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Zen0ps
 
Sputnik 50th birthday!

Happy birthday you 83.6 kilogram space ball!

Well technically according to the US, it only made it into "orbit" but the rest of us say it made it well into space.

We've come a long way, with the space shuttle 19 out of 20 times, and about 2 million pounds of fuel, we can now push up 24,400 kilograms to 250 miles up - or theoretically 3,810 kilograms to geostationary orbit (22,240 miles up) although of course the space shuttle is not designed to go that high.

With the Space shuttle being retired soon, the new railgun assisted or space elevator launches should help solid propulsion get us a lot further.

I figure a manned mission to the moon will be well possible within the next 50 years or so.
Old 10-04-2007, 10:15 AM Zen0ps is offline  
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chuckybob
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ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE MOTHER LAND U.S.S.R.


oh wait


did sputnik ever come down, or is it still just chillin up there?
Old 10-04-2007, 10:44 AM chuckybob is offline  
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Mr. Greg
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oh wait


did sputnik ever come down, or is it still just chillin up there?

Reentered and burned up in '59, IIRC.
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Old 10-04-2007, 10:59 AM Mr. Greg is offline  
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Zen0ps
 
Yeah, she burned up and fell in the ocean somewhere and was never found. Although it was orbit - it was a heavily decayed orbit, sort of like the space shuttle is never out of the grasp of earths gravity (Its basically going up 250 miles and then freefalling back to earth)

You know, if technically the US says Sputnik only made it to orbit and not to space - I think its fair game for the former Soviets to say that moon mission was technically only a 50 kilogram relay probe with satellite television broadcast capabilty.

The only guys who would know are the astronauts themselves.. The astronauts that had weeklong picnics in low earth orbit.
Old 10-04-2007, 12:26 PM Zen0ps is offline  
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I believe that if the US/Russia (and other countries joining) had maintained the feverish pace of the space race....we would have manned missions to planets in our solar system by now.
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Old 10-04-2007, 02:47 PM joemama is offline  
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I believe that if the US/Russia (and other countries joining) had maintained the feverish pace of the space race....we would have manned missions to planets in our solar system by now.

Easily.

What the US is doing now is basically picking up the space program where we left off after the moon shots in the 70s. The technology is basically the same stuff, with improvements here and there. If we're looking at going to Mars in ~30 years or so, then we should have been there by now had we kept going.

The main problem with a Mars mission is that it actually takes too long, and the extra radiation you get from being in space on a round trip to Mars is above NASA's limit on lifetime radiation exposure. This is why we need to step up research and start flying nuclear fission rockets, which are the only technology that's currently feasible and capable of getting humans there fast enough.
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:35 PM Ray Charles is offline  
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I believe that if the US/Russia (and other countries joining) had maintained the feverish pace of the space race....we would have manned missions to planets in our solar system by now.
and then what? mars is just a big rock.
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Old 10-04-2007, 06:46 PM cromicus is offline  
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and then what? mars is just a big rock.

as opposed to the moon, which is made of cheese
Old 10-04-2007, 07:19 PM chuckybob is offline  
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as opposed to the moon, which is made of cheese
I never said going to the moon was any better
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Old 10-04-2007, 08:05 PM cromicus is offline  
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and then what? mars is just a big rock.

There are a few main benefits that come from pursuing a manned space program. In no particular order:

Prestige: It seems obvious, but maintaining outposts in space shows that a nation has the technology and resources to do it. I would say that there is currently no higher technological benchmark than maintaining a space program. It requires a level of expertise in engineering and life sciences that isn't matched by any other endeavor. It's basically a public show that lets the world know how advanced a country is.

Exploration and Exploitation: People are naturally explorers. We like to go to new places and do new things. There's not much left to explore on Earth. At the same time, we may find something out there in space. There may be usable resources on the Moon or Mars, but we won't know until we invesitgate them. At the same time, space offers many environments that aren't available on Earth. These environments may prove to be advantageous in manufacturing or other processes. Either way, we'll never get these benefits until we start exploring and developing the technology necessary to exploit them.

General Advancement of the Sciences: Again, space offers unique environments. This is desirable for scientists who wish to perform tests in weightless conditions. The life sciences especially benefit from space travel. By observing an organism in zero-gravity, we find out how it depends on gravity, and that allows us to understand how it works. Investigating our planet from space allows a unique perspective on our planet and others.

Direct Benefits through Engineering Advancement: Manned space flight is an incredibly complicated endeavor which requires the application of many different fields of science and engineering. You must support life in incredibly hostile conditions. Many times, problems arise in spaceflight whose solutions have applications here on earth. Often these solutions allow us to do entirely new things or do something better. For example, the first practical implantable artificial heart benefitted from computational fluid dynamics computer programs that NASA wrote to analyse the space shuttl3 engines. There are all sorts of other things that we've gotten from NASA. I highly suggest that you check out the NASA spinoffs page. It's got some really interesting stuff there: http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/tec...ffs_index.html
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Old 10-04-2007, 10:28 PM Ray Charles is offline  
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Allnighte
 
i just read a little story about the US and its knowledge of it. pretty interesting little read here:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21047652/site/newsweek/
Old 10-04-2007, 10:58 PM Allnighte is offline  
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and then what? mars is just a big rock.

mars has substantially less gravity. would be excellent to practice building sky hooks on. Also it's nice and near a fine asteroid belt. Has lots of water Ice that we can turn into fuel.and has too tiny moons that we could turn into good bases.

then we have pretty much "clean" manufacturing and mining operations.

Moon is the stepping stone to mars
Mars is the stepping stone to the solar system and to vast wealth
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Old 10-05-2007, 12:04 AM TheMorlock is offline  
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[H]ard|On
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Sweet. Space rules. We're tiny. Here's to expanding our horizons If anything it's all the more tools to clean the blight of religious nonsense out of the human race.
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Old 10-05-2007, 12:27 AM [H]ard|On is offline  
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