How long until space travel is feasible for the average person?

This is a discussion on How long until space travel is feasible for the average person? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Is it true that he's never lost a test pilot? I believe so. They haven't actually had a huge amount ...

  1. #16
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    Is it true that he's never lost a test pilot?
    I believe so. They haven't actually had a huge amount of test pilots, but considering how most of the stuff they make is completely experimental, that's still a pretty good record.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Govtcheez
    http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe...ace/index.html

    The gist of the article is, by 2008, Virgin plans to have a commercial space flight service. $200K will get you 3 days of flight training and a 2-3 hour flight into space, featuring a few minutes of actual weightlessness.

    Sounds cool, but the price tag is obviously out of the range of 99% of the people out there. My question is, how long until we see this being an almost commonplace thing? Flying from earth to the Space Mall to pick up the latest CD by the Venusians? Maybe not even that advanced; how long do you think it'll be until people can fly commercial spacecraft for less than the price of a house? Is this a step in the right direction?

    Also, let's talk about the space elevator, because that's awesome.

    I think it'll happen eventually. It won't be for a LONG time though. But who knows, technology seems to rise exponentially as of late. I'd say I'm going to be my parents age before that's something I might even be able to think about. I doubt we will ever have a cd made by Venusians though, since everyone knows they don't make cds, they make movies. Space flight in my opinion is a cool thing, but I think there is only so much to come from it.

    Unless by some wild chance intelligent life finds us, what all is there to do with a bunch of lifeless planets? It's worth expanding our technology, but I think humans will always be centered on Earth.

    A space elevator is actually an unpractical alternative to commercial space flight, if you are talking about a giant elevator into space. We would first need to discover a new alloy that is light enough to not crush through the ground due to weight, but be able to hold itself up. Then we would have to have one hell of an engineering crew to design something that can handle the weight, size, weather, oxygen changes, pressure differences, et cetera.

    Plus, would something of that magnitude be maintainable? Skyscrapers are relatively new, cost bundles, and take tons of time and man power to build. How would we make the upper areas that are really low oxygen enviroments, and I'd also assume the tempatures would be insane. Having people actually up there seems improbable.
    "When I die I want to pass peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather did, not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car."

  3. #18
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    Maybe the elevators could go up to a half way point:

    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/5025388/

  4. #19
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    A space elevator is actually an unpractical alternative to commercial space flight, if you are talking about a giant elevator into space. We would first need to discover a new alloy that is light enough to not crush through the ground due to weight, but be able to hold itself up. Then we would have to have one hell of an engineering crew to design something that can handle the weight, size, weather, oxygen changes, pressure differences, et cetera.
    There was an interesting article in Popular Science a couple of months ago about this very cocept. It solved most of those problems by having a cable (several yards thick and constatly strengthened by crawlers laying down new cable) attached to an end-stating out in space, where the centrifugal force of the Earth's rotation would be greater than the centripetal force that you are referring to (gravity). It would take some good engineering, but it's not as silly as you might think.

  5. #20
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    I think in 20 years we will have hotels in space and ships will take us there to float around for a week and then we can come back home. It will most likely be expensive but all things are expensive at first and gradually get cheaper.

  6. #21
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    "We are living in the future
    I'll tell you how I know
    I read it in the paper
    Fifteen years ago
    We're all driving rocket ships
    And talking with our minds..."

    Gotta love John Prine.

  7. #22
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    SpaceShipOne is go for the second X-Prize flight today.
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity unto the dream.

  8. #23
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    Unofficial 368,000 feet!
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity unto the dream.

  9. #24
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    Some material for a cable to space?

    Has to be BioSteel Spider Silk! Made from a goat near you

    "It is stronger than steel by weight, more elastic than nylon (it can stretch to almost twice its original length without breaking), and is both lighter and stronger than kevlar.
    ..... It is estimated that a strand of spider silk the thickness of a pencil can stop a Boeing 747 airplane."

    http://www.carleton.ca/catalyst/2003/s2.html

    And what about the cannon to shoot equipment into space?

    http://www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/stargaze/SSHARP.htm
    "Man alone suffers so excruciatingly in the world that he was compelled to invent laughter."
    Friedrich Nietzsche

    "I spent a lot of my money on booze, birds and fast cars......the rest I squandered."
    George Best

    "If you are going through hell....keep going."
    Winston Churchill

  10. #25
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    That article on the spider silk is absolutely fascinating.

  11. #26
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    SpaceShipOne's thrust was provided by two innocuous substances that, when mixed together, are explosive: nitrous oxide and rubber.

    A fuel tank about six feet in diameter at the center of the craft holds liquid nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. A hollow tube leading from the tank to the engine nozzle is filled with solid rubber. The combustive combination produces thousands of pounds of thrust, although exact amount remains secret.
    Holy crap, that's amazing!

  12. #27
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    Howdy,
    I heard an interview with a NASA official. He said the person that will walk on mars is probably in second grade right now.

    M.R.
    I don't like you very much. Please post a lot less.
    Cheez
    *and then*
    No, I know you were joking. My point still stands.

  13. #28
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    We must find him! He is the chosen one!

  14. #29
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    Looks like the legislators are starting to move in...

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6201543/
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity unto the dream.

  15. #30
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    We must find him! He is the chosen one!
    The prophecy states he will have reddish-brown mars-shaped birth marks all over his face.

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