Wednesday, December 23, 2009

People Just Don't Think Before They Speak

Sometimes, I get into debates with really stupid people. I hate to say that. I don't like calling anyone stupid, but stupid is as stupid does. They are probably nice people, but God do they say stupid things without thinking. That drives me nuts. This reminds me of what I said about Nancy Pelosi's dumb statement about human spaceflight, but that's not what this rant is about. :)

I've stumbled upon a really interesting group called The Venus Project. This ties into Monday's posting. Of course, any time you come up with something this different, this radical, and this detrimental to the status quo, you'll definitely find detractors and people who have nothing serious to contribute, so they say stupid things. Case in point, a discussion between a guy I will simply call "Him" and me. It started off because he hates the architecture depicted in the animations:

Him: to make life completely sterile and lifeless...

Me: Your comments are indicative of the current symptoms of the problem we have today. You've been conditioned to think that having completely unique and special places of living, even at the expense of efficiency, is the best method. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Certain methods and structures are scientifically better than others, period, regardless of how much you may like Victorian architecture, or Gothic structures. A change in thinking is required.

Him: The only way? This sounds a lot like the Christianity movement. The overall intent is good but is selfish and based on very limited knowledge of technology and our WORLD. The problems of today are a result of greed, ignorance, and lack of good education/leaders.

Me: No, it's all based on the Scientific Method, and every bit of technology spoken of is completely available right now, today. I think you don't know enough about current technology to make that statement, else you would not have made it at all. Greed, ignorance, lack of education and more ALL revolve around a broken Monetary Economic System that promote scarcity and division. Eradicate that, and all can prosper.

Him: Personally I don't care to live inside a cold machine...And I'm positive there are a lot of people who would agree. Hell, one could say technology is a result of greed and the scientific method. We don't need these things to survive. People are afraid to die and think it will somehow save them. But all is not lost, it will balance out.

Me: Tesla developed a crap load of things, furthering technology significantly, and died broke. He's the true inventor of the radio, but was not a money grubbing profiteer. Einstein, Newton, and many other major scientists didn't become millionaires off their work. People used their work to become millionaires. Scientists and Engineers love the pursuit of knowledge and truth, natural truth, not fictionally developed 'truth'.

Yes, we do need technology to survive, to survive longer and live better. You don't need to be a genius to know that human life expectancy is twice as long now than just 100 yrs ago. Science made that possible. I refuse to revert back to caves.

Him: Yes the scientific is method at the core as well... However the scientific method is uncovering quite a bit about ourselves and our reality that will permanently change the way we perceive. Everything is coming to a critical point and it's all inclusive.

I am not against the movement, I am against seeing people put in little compartments stacked on top of one another...the entire building is symbolic of the monetary system...There is plenty of room for everyone on floor1.

Me: Jacque definitively states many times that his models don't represent what will actually happen. People will design the city to be as "pretty and useful" as necessary. As for everyone living on the ground floor, that's retarded. You'd run out of usable land for farming and animal cultivation real fast if everyone took up a parcel of land. Hell, the whole world can't sustain that anyway.

6 billion+ people even taking up just 1 acre a piece would consume 6 billion+ acres for living. 1 acre is roughly 4 square km. So now we're looking at 24 billion square km needed for this. Even if you averaged 4 people per plot of land, you're back to 6 billion square km. The entire known land area of the entire world (including Antarctica) is 148.9 million square km. And this includes coastlines, inland bodies of water, like lakes, rivers, etc.

Sorry friend, it's impossible once you apply...I don't know...MATH! Do some research before you speak, it might serve you well.

That's it for now. No idea what he'll come back with, but I love it when math and proper logic trumps flippant statements that are completely B.S. :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Time Must Be Spared For Self Education

One of the most important things a person can do is to find the time to educate themselves. Self learning is what separates us from a lizard, goat or most other creatures.

Usually I stick to matters of space, science, technology and the like on this blog. For the first time in a while, I am straying from this general topic genre to focus on something just as significantly important, if not more so.

Below are several links to videos, and every single one of them should be watched by you. Additionally they should be watched by your friends, family, loved ones, EVERYONE!

It is important that as you go though these, you do NOT try to accept, deny or argue every point made as it's being delivered. This is a lesson in patience for overall understanding. I myself do not subscribe to every notion presented, but the overall message rings loud and clear, and that is what's important.

I hope you make the time, find the time, manufacture the time to watch these videos and see just how important self education is. The more people understand how the system is flawed, and understand the very probable and realistic solutions to resolve many of our issues, the sooner we can begin the serious move to making life infinitely better for every man, woman and child on this planet. Especially the children.

It is much easier for you to simply watch these videos with an open mind, than to give cursory explanations of what each video entails. In the end, I hope this has the same impact on you that it had on me.

The Zeitgeist Movement (Basically the Philosophy & Reasons Behind the Movement):

Peter Joseph "Where are we now?":

Peter Joseph "Where are we going?" Part 1:

Peter Joseph "Where are we going?" Part 2:

Jacque Fresco of The Venus Project (Part 1):

Jacque Fresco of The Venus Project (Part 2):


Zeitgeist Movie Website, including the original film from 2007 and the Addendum from 2008. Both help give greater detail if you wish. They aren't necessarily required, as the Orientation Video covers most things on a base level, but these are recommended and very revealing and informative if you want greater detail.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Obama's Preliminary Decision on Human Spaceflight?

Once again, far too many statements with respect to NASA are about maintaining jobs and not producing viable products. This is why government space will fail in taking humanity to the next level of space exploration. NASA is now a jobs program, NOT a Research and Development branch of the government for the purpose of space exploration and development.

Is it nice that Obama is considering boosting the NASA budget by a billion, focusing on Heavy Lift, and killing Ares 1 in favor of using NewSpace companies to accomplish the tasks Ares would have done? Yes. But when you have entrenched politicians who only care about keeping jobs in their districts where NASA centers are located, you completely lose sight of the real purpose of NASA. Sometimes, as a viable company would, you trim the fat or relocate your staff to be better utilized. That's just how it is, if you're a private company. NASA is so bogged down by political nonsense that they can't get out of their own way, and it's not their fault really.

I wish this was considered when NASA was being put together, but alas, NASA was a whirlwind creation with the Moon as the prize. I don't think anyone involved in the process saw the detrimental affects of spreading the organization throughout the nation based upon Congressional fancy. Nor would they have foreseen how such a structure and its governance would end up being the cause for its stagnation.

It would be nice, for once, if a President would step up and publicly tell Congress to shut up, that we're going to do what's right for the nation as a whole, and not just your district. That people can move to find new and better jobs if necessary, and although that's not ideal for those people and families, it's better than cutting things completely. For once, I'd like a President with the balls to put Congress in their place and set the stage for the greater good. I am getting sick of the selfish nature of individual politicians who care less about the big picture and are solely focused on their next election. Aren't you?

However, I still find this to be a half-assed move. Obama has yet to address one of the key aspects of the future of human spaceflight, which is fostering the growth of the Commercial Space Industry, not just placating it. What we need are moves like creating tax incentives to start space based companies, increased funding for space based university research, and the restructure of ITAR to get back to missiles, bombs and guns, and get out of peaceful commercial space. Hell, the last one doesn't require a dime to accomplish, but would result in huge economic boons to our nation.

As I said last night during the SpaceVidCast show, WE are the ones who need to get into positions of power, or elect people who share our vision of the future, if we're ever going to make the kind of moves necessary to make our dreams a reality.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Obama Meets with Bolden (and Pelosi is a Bonehead)

Much ado about nothing really. There were no real announcements as it happened later in the day, so there was no real contribution to the press briefing. So they met, which I guess could be considered a good thing, but I want to touch on what Pelosi said.

Nancy Pelosi is an idiot. Oh, I'm sorry, was that not politically correct? Too bad. Stupid is as stupid does, or as stupid says. As the above article quotes her, “I have not been a big fan of manned expeditions to outer space, in terms of safety and cost.” This woman has absolutely NO fraggin' clue what space means to the advancement to humanity. She only cares about the advancement of herself.

She's happy to spend billions on a socialized medical system, which throughout history has been shown to be a huge mistake for the future condition of the people it's supposed to help, which in and of itself incurs major cost and safety risk, but she's willing to cast aside human space exploration using the excuse of cost and safety. What a hypocrite.

Without human exploration of space, we would not have achieved MANY of the major technological advancements that help people every day. Many medical advancements are a direct result of human space exploration, including medical systems, technologies and even biological analysis. The lessons learned from putting people in space directly affects how we diagnose and treat people here on Earth, and this moron Senator doesn't have the foggiest clue, nor do I think she cares about that fact.

It's FACT! Not trumped up B.S. It's FACT! For the life of me, I cannot fathom why the people of California constantly elect such a myopic dolt, unless many of them truly share the same perspective. If that's the case, I do hope California falls into the ocean. It's obvious she doesn't have any significant care for the future of this country, unless that future means more power for her, her party and government in general.

Nancy Pelosi, you're a bonehead. You don't have a clue, you never have and I venture to say that you never will. Fortunately you have not managed to take away free speech (yet), so I proudly sit here and say this, and I'd gladly say it right to your face. Human space exploration is not only beneficial, but necessary for the survival of the human race.

Space can solve many of the key issues we're facing today, such as the economy, employment, education, environment, energy, international relations and more!

It's about time "We the People" start to put people in Washington D.C. who understand this fact and look to make America a space faring nation.

It's about time "We the People" push and demand that our growth is not based on banking, investments and "invisible money" bubbles that can/will pop, but that it's based on solid production, true advancement and sustainable growth.

It's about time that "We the People" strike now, strike often, and strike true with our message, our votes and our demands.

It's about time that "We the People" start acting like "We the People" and do what is right for the future our our children and generations to come.

Let's get it done!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Flyers Among Us

The Flyers Among Us from Stanley Von Medvey on Vimeo.

This was far too good NOT to post on my blog. Great message and great graphics! Well done and very true!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Revolution is Coming -- Try and Stop It

The revolution is coming, the NewSpace Revolution. Last week marked the unveiling of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, the newest craft designed for the sole purpose of commercial space. Now, there are those who will argue that Virgin Galactic is not going to space, because by their definition, if it doesn't orbit the planet, it's not real space travel.

I think some would disagree, like the World Air Sports Federation (FAI), which sets the altitude at a simple and fixed 100km. You break that altitude, then you're in space. NASA has adopted this fixed altitude as well, and no where in the definition does it say how long you have to be up there, or whether or not orbiting makes the point more valid. Suffice to say, many of the people complaining are also the same ones who are against the commercial development of space. No surprise.

And now we come to today, when SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies) has announced that not only is it conducting training with bonafide astronauts on its Dragon system, which is their capsule craft designed to rendezvous with the ISS and any other orbiting platform, but that it plans to be up and running to support crew shifts for the ISS between May and November of 2010.

Notice I said up and running, not developing and testing. With Ares still undergoing good old fashioned NASA testing and development, which as we all know is a wonderfully streamlined and delay free process, SpaceX is stepping up to the plate with the full intent to knock the ball out of the park. Now, I can hear the bickering already, "Falcon 9 hasn't even launched. SpaceX is being pre-mature. This is a PR stunt. No way they'll be ready by then. Falcon 9 is much more complex than Falcon 1, and they screwed up Falcon 1 three times before it worked." Blah, blah, blah.

The core systems between Falcon 1 and 9 are the same. The trick, which is genuine, is to make sure all 9 engines run properly at the same time. The issues related to Falcon 1 all represent learning and growth in understanding of new systems. Last I checked, new rocket systems don't always perform perfectly the first time. What's unique here is that SpaceX achieved success in a very short time at a fraction of the cost when compared to government programs. That's the difference, achieving the same results at a lower cost, which is what commercial space provides us all.

Couple this with Masten Space Systems winning the Northrup Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge, Armadillo Aerospace coming in a close and respectable second in the same competition, and other NewSpace players making strides of their own, and it's becoming apparent that NewSpace is not a fleeting movement.

Do you hear that? That's the drum beat of revolution, and it will be a benefit to us all.

Friday, December 11, 2009

You Want the Economic Impact?! You Can't Handle the Economic Impact!

This is a must read! Yes, it's from 1992, and there should be another study like this done today, but the data in here is astounding!

Many people ask about the benefits of the space industry in these hard economic times, and far too many subscribe to the ludicrous argument that we should spend money on Earth rather than on space. It's a false argument, because it's not like we're launching cash and having it orbit the planet serving no use. The money is spent here, at companies on Earth (in America), that employ great people with diverse educational backgrounds, to create systems that operate in space. The location of use isn't Earth, but the foundations ARE from Earth.

From the small electronics manufacturer in Illinois to the big Boeing corporation, there are more pieces to the space industry puzzle than many people realize. Special thanks for Marcel (blog viewer and contributor) for bringing this to my attention.

Read this and understand...

(click each image to expand)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Quantum Propulsion Machine - Popsci Article

Well, this is just plain cool. I love the fact that it's pretty easy to test the theory. So rare that the studies of Quantum Mechanics can be put to an actual test. Far too much of it is mathematical masturbation with very little chance of being turned into a practical device. This, however, might actually turn into something significant. But as the article insinuates, let's not get to far ahead of ourselves. :)

SpaceShipTwo Unveiling and the NewSpace Movement

I guess I should comment on Virgin Galactic's reveal of SpaceShipTwo. I figured it would be pretty obvious to anyone who follows this blog that I'm ecstatic about the event. I do find it interesting, however, the number of people who poo-poo something like this because it's "just a sub-orbital roller coaster".

Well, last I checked, no private company was doing this at all, so don't you think any step up is a good step? What, do you want a company to instantly come out with gravity driven spaceships and simply glide us into the cosmos? Wake up. The NewSpace movement is only NOW finally gaining momentum and, albeit small, some respect.

With SpaceX having success with Falcon 1 and getting ready to demonstrate Falcon 9, Scaled Composites winning the Ansari X-Prize and Masten winning the Northrup Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge, Virgin Galactic falls in line with a series of NewSpace companies that are showing what they're made of, and it's good stuff! Just look at what's been accomplished thus far based ONLY on the dollars spent. It's amazing the accomplishments that have been achieved on such limited resources.

And remember this, Virgin Galactic is but one of several NewSpace companies poised to help propel us to the next level. Currently on they have a story ranking the top 15 NewSpace companies in order of their progress toward the goal of bringing cargo and human passengers to space. 15 companies! Here they are in order of ranking:

Virgin Galactic
Orbital Sciences
Scaled Composites
Masten Space Systems
Armadillo Aerospace
Planetary Society
Bigelow Aerospace
XCOR Aerospace
Blue Origin
Ad Astra Rocket Co.
Interorbital Systems
Da Vinci Project/The Dreamspace Group
Space Adventures

Did you know there were that many? Do you know what they're doing? Virgin, Masten, Armadillo and SpaceX seem to top the media highlights, but as you can see there are more players in the game than just those few, and who knows how many others are out there working hard for the NewSpace Movement, but just haven't been recognized yet (which could be on purpose, who knows).

Now if the American government, and governments around the world, would embrace NewSpace as a partner and not a competitor, I firmly believe we'd see even greater things accomplished, not only for the commercialization of space, but also for the potential of government space agencies to focus on much more challenging and rewarding missions and advancements. It's a win win scenario. It's our job to drive that message home, to force our hand and to ensure that our future is not wrapped up in Committee Meetings, but that it is allowed to unfold as we all know it should.

Friday, December 4, 2009

My Letter to the White House

I am sending this every day, maybe even a few times a day, until I get a solid reply and not some generic automated reply. :) If you wish to use this email and reference me as the author, go right ahead. The more people we have to hammer this message to the White House, the better the odds of its implementation, and the success of our future. I am more than willing to be the front man on this endeavor.


I will send this email every day until I get a reply that it's been received and reviewed. I am not trying to be rude, but heard and recognized. I offer a serious solution that must be considered.

For many of our concerns today there is one strong solution. Not every problem requires a special unique solution. Sometimes, you can hit several flies with just one swat.

What we have right now is a lack of focus on long term production. The shovel ready projects (bridges and roads) that were the core of the Stimulus Package are very short term jobs and limited in scope and scale. What we need is a larger full scale project, or projects, that employ hundreds of thousands of people over the course of decades, but which also serves a purpose for the future of this nation and our growth as a society.

Public/Private Space Exploration and Development serves this purpose. To stay within the 2,500 character limit, I’ll omit details, but I do have them. In short, what is needed are lofty, high value, audacious goals the whole nation can benefit from, like a Moon Base, an asteroid mission to review prospects for mining resources and a project to help private industry develop Space Based Solar Power concepts, the ultimate in green energy.

This approach doesn’t necessarily require large govt. spending. The govt. made loans to the Union and Central Pacific RR's to build the Intercontinental Railroad, so why can't we do the same today to build a space infrastructure between the Moon and the Earth? The government can actually make money on the projects.

What issues can this course of action help solve? The Economy, Employment, Education, Energy and International Relations.

This is a real solution with unlimited potential. It would also put America back in the drivers seat as the worlds leader in taking on amazing challenges, but challenges that offer a better life for everyone in the world. How would you feel being the President who started this and made America become a space faring nation? I would be honored to go into further detail if you're interested Mr. President. You have my email.


Douglas Mallette
Space Shuttle Systems Engineer
Space Advocacy Speaker
Author: Turning Point

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hey Washington D.C. Jobs Summit: I Have Your Answer Right Here!

I have to think that whatever they come up with during this jobs summit, if anything at all, it will not be focused on long term job creation, but short term quick fixes. This is depressing, because it's painfully obvious that what we need is a long term focus, a strong solution that covers years of job sustainability, and NOT just government jobs, but private sector jobs.

What we have is a lack of focus on long term production. These shovel ready projects (bridges and roads) that were the core of the Stimulus Package are very short term jobs and limited in scope and scale. What we need is a larger full scale project, or projects, that employ hundreds of thousands...if not millions. A Moon Base sounds like a good project to spur innovation and get our kids excited, and add to it a nice asteroid mission to mine resources and a serious project to help private industry develop Space Based Solar Power concepts. These are things that will take 20+ years to accomplish...LONG TERM!

Like Kennedy did in the 60's, but for reasons of challenging Russia, the current or next Administration should once again use space as a rallying point. This time, as a means for creating jobs, not just engineers and scientists either, but a whole host of jobs that would be directly and indirectly related to the endeavor. For every 1 person directly related to the project(s) making an average of $80,000 a year, you'll end up also creating another 1 or 2 jobs based on the fact that that person now has the kind of income to buy a house, car, clothes, eat out...basically spend money. Hello retail sector.

And more than 50% of this should be handled by private industry, not NASA and the government. NASA has a role, but to create long term jobs you must have the private sector carry the lion share of the work, use the grants and loans for technological development, and grow the Commercial Space Industry so that it becomes a self sustaining force for space travel and space based development. The government could even make money on this like they did when they worked with the railroad industry to build the Intercontinental Railroad.

This would also spur technological growth in a whole host of sectors, because as all space advocates know, developing space technologies ends up also developing technologies in unrelated sectors. Who knows what crazy advancements would be made in the medical, transportation and even clothing sectors. History has proven this, so why not embrace it?

This is a common sense, no-brainer solution to one hell of a problem...series of problems! Bring in other nations to join us in the grand project, thereby fortifying our peaceful cooperation relationships. Kids seeing real movement in the space industry beyond 2 or 3 launches a year will get them excited to get into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), especially if they genuinely feel they can go into space themselves to do work.

Mr. President, the time is now. The solution is obvious. Let's go!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Market Argument for Commercial Space

I am sick of the market argument for Commercial Space. Was there a market for the car when everyone was happy with their horses and buggies? Was there a market for the airplane when most people were terrified of the prospect of flying and content with the status quo? Is there ever a market for radical technological shifts? I say no, but that doesn't stop progress! Nor should it stop innovation because there's no apparent market yet.

Build it and they will come. Develop the Commercial Space Industry, even if the govt. has to subsidize it at first, and people will find a way to use it. The market will develop and grow. The systems will improve, the advances will be astounding and the costs will drop. The growth will be immense and the prosperity of our species will be ensured once we start to utilize space and its resources.

I firmly believe that there will NEVER be a time when the government will do anything cost effectively. That's just not what they do. The commercialization of space will be the only method by which we see space travel costs drop to the point that you or I can go after just saving a reasonable amount of money.

Also, this nonsense of people complaining of no commercial market right now is ridiculous. There is a current market. Right now, it's rich people. That's how it usually is. There is also scientific interest in low cost commercial space. Let's not forget Bigelow, who wants to put his hotels up there. He's one of those customers that spawns even more customers, the people visiting his hotel! Now put several hotels up there and see how that grows the market. Add in orbiting fuel depots which can be commercial, located in LEO, GEO, L-points and around the Moon, and you have a whole new market sector where other private fliers and governments are the customers.

This isn't difficult to wrap your head around, so why the hell does Congress and government space make this so difficult. I'm starting to get the feeling that govt. space doesn't WANT a commercial sector to compete with, because they know they'll lose. They (Congress) needs their pet project in order to garner votes during elections...using NASA as a jobs program more than a science and technology program. The people working in government space want to hold their jobs, which is beyond me, because if they are worth a damn, they can get jobs in the private sector building commercial space ships and systems. I guess they just like their cushy, can't fire me, do a little but get paid a lot jobs.

I'm sick of the gray hairs running things! I'm sick of this stupid argument that commercial space isn't yet viable! If not now, then when?! Never on your watch, grandpa, I guarantee that, because you are stuck in the world of government space running the show. Well, that time is coming to a close and it will be us young whipper snappers that put you in your place, change the paradigm, shift the focus, and make dreams reality.

It's time for us to demand the proper courses of action, or get into office ourselves and make it happen. It's time for US to take the torch, because it won't be handed to us, that's for sure. It's time for us to be the game changers, the ones history will look back on and note as the one damn generation that actually stood up and carried humanity on it's back into the stars! We are the ones who will affect the right change, the ones who will turn sci-fi into sci-fact, and we must do it NOW!

Vote with space in mind. Run for office with space in mind. Ensure every decision you ever make has space in mind, because space exploration and development solves so many issues all at once. We get that, so now it's time for us to make sure everyone else gets it too!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Time Plus Space -- But Not Spacetime?!

Well well, if you step outside the box, realize that all efforts thus far have been proven to be wrong, then you might just come up with some wacky idea that is more plausible than anything thought of so far. I like this Petr HoĊ™ava guy. He basically said BUNK to classically accepted theories and tried something radically different. And what do ya know, it's starting to look rather promising.

You can get the details from the article. I'm not going to rewrite it. Suffice to say, I LOVE it when people challenge scientific dogma and take the risk of looking like an idiot on a hunch that what they've thought of might actually be valid. There aren't enough risk takers anymore in the scientific community, and there are far too many people who are so absolutely entrenched in faithfully following what they've learned in school that they've lost their ability to question even the basics in the hopes of maybe...just maybe...making a startling discovery.

Will this new idea pan out? Who knows. It looks good so far, even with its bugs. Still, at least Petr is humble enough to admit he's not perfect and that he hopes people will tweak and refine his theory. Can't say the same for so many scientists who stick to their pet theories to passionately they consider it fact.

I personally hope it does pan out, because then we can put this dark matter/energy bunk to rest. :)

Magnetic Shield for Reentry

Well, this is REALLY cool! I can think of no better way to reduce heat issues on a spacecraft than by creating a shield that helps prevent the particles from getting close to the skin in the first place. A nice bubble around the craft, or at least a field leading the way, is a great idea that should be researched by the U.S. as well. Good on you Europe.

Of course, this also could be used for shielding in space for a craft doing a long duration mission with people aboard. Nice "deflector shield" technology. Now, uncharged particles aren't affected of course, but anything charged could either be caught in the field, or bent away. Time for some serious R&D NASA, if you even do that anymore.

I think private companies would eat this up if they could just sell the technology to other nations. Imagine being the company that develops a real shield generator and how much $$$ you'd make on THAT?! Hello economic boom. Food for thought...chew on that a bit. :)