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posted by martyb on Tuesday July 20, @06:40AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the flight-has-it-ups-and-downs dept.

[2021-07-20 14:41:25 UTC] UPDATE: Flight had a short hold at (IIRC) T-15:00 then proceeded to have a safe ignition, liftoff, flight, and separation. Booster landed successfully under powered descent. A few minutes later the capsule coasted to apogee (maximum altitude), began its descent, deployed parachutes, and landed nominally. All crew disembarked safely. Congratulations to all involved!]

According to Wikipedia, the capsule reached apogee of 105.671 km (65.6612 mi). On board were the oldest (Wally Funk, 82) and youngest (Oliver Daemen, 18) people to ever reach space. Also on board were Blue Origin owner Jeff Bezos and his brother Mark Bezos.

Original story follows, unchanged.


Blue Origin set for historic first human flight of its New Shepard system:

Officials with the rocket company Blue Origin said they remain on track for their first human spaceflight on Tuesday, which will carry founder Jeff Bezos and three other passengers on a suborbital hop 100 km above West Texas.

Steve Lanias, the lead flight director for the mission, said during a call with reporters that engineers completed a "Flight Readiness Review" for the launch over the weekend and found the New Shepard rocket and capsule to be in perfect condition. Weather, too, looks reasonable with any early morning storms expected to pass before the anticipated liftoff time of 8 am CT (13:00 UTC).

Bezos and the other three passengers—his brother, Mark, aviation pioneer Wally Funk, and a paying customer from the Netherlands named Oliver Daemen—underwent about 14 hours of training this weekend across two days. Their flight will be entirely autonomous. After launch the capsule will separate from the rocket, and the passengers will have about three minutes of weightlessness before they must strap back into their seats for the return to Earth. Upon reentry to Earth's atmosphere the passengers will experience about 5 Gs as gravity exerts itself on the returning vehicle.

[...] For Tuesday's flight, the company will provide a webcast, which is expected to begin about 90 minutes before the anticipated liftoff time. So the webcast should go live at 6:30 am local time in Texas, or about 11:30 UTC.

The webcast is scheduled to be available on YouTube: New Shepard First Human Flight.

NB: Virgin Galactic's flight on 2021-05-11[*] reached an altitude of 50 miles (80 km) which is the altitude at which NASA issues pilot's wings. Many noted the flight failed to reach the Kármán line boundary between Earth's atmosphere and outer space which is defined to be 100 km (62 miles). New Shepard's flight is scheduled to reach the Kármán line.

[*] SoylentNews coverage of Virgin Galactic's flight.


Original Submission

Related Stories

How to Watch Branson’s Flight, Which Jeff Bezos is Still Hopping Mad About [UPDATES 2] 97 comments

[2021-07-11 16:18:14 UTC; UPDATE 2]

Launch, separation from carrier plane, self-powered rocket flight, re-entry, and landing were all successful. Official video stream had several drop-outs. There are sure to be on-ship recordings that will be edited and uploaded for later viewing.

Congratulations to all involved for a safe and successful flight!


[2021-07-11 11:07:52 UTC; UPDATE 1]

The launch has been delayed ~1.5 hours "Due to prior weather".

7:30am PT | 8:30am MT | 10:30am ET | 3:30pm BST

Otherwise known as: 2021-07-11 @ 1430 UTC

Launch is still to be live-streamed on YouTube.


Original story follows.

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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @07:03AM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @07:03AM (#1158181)

    Good luck and safe journey to Bezos and crew.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by Frosty Piss on Tuesday July 20, @09:44AM (3 children)

      by Frosty Piss (4971) on Tuesday July 20, @09:44AM (#1158204)

      Good luck and safe journey to Bezos and crew.

      The explosion will be spectacular, and the world will finally be free of Jeff Bezo.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @01:46PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @01:46PM (#1158245)

        I know it's trollish, but if the rocket would blow up on the launch pad, it would benefit the world greatly. It's just a shame that it would destroy a rocket and kill those utter people.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @02:16PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @02:16PM (#1158254)

          [citation needed], commie

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @02:54AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @02:54AM (#1158593)

            He made billions of dollars during a pandemic without contributing anything to solving the problem, I'm not going to cry when he dies.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @12:31PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @12:31PM (#1158231)

      Amazon thought they could be sneaky by waiting until now to notify me of their updated terms of use and thought I wouldn't notice and instead be distracted by a giant phallic rocket that will only last a minute in "space."

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Tuesday July 20, @09:13AM (3 children)

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Tuesday July 20, @09:13AM (#1158198) Journal

    SpaceX fires up world’s largest rocket booster on the first try [teslarati.com]

    In real rocketry news, a Starship booster conducted a static fire for the first time. The next booster could support an orbital launch attempt around August/September.

    The unnamed millionaire seat winner got replaced due to a scheduling conflict:

    Blue Origin gives green light for Tuesday launch of owner Jeff Bezos [spaceflightnow.com]

    Liftoff will mark the 16th flight of a New Shepard sub-orbital spacecraft but the first with passengers on board. Joining Amazon-founder Bezos will be his brother Mark, 82-year-old aviation pioneer Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old Dutchman who is Blue Origin’s first paying customer.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @10:51AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @10:51AM (#1158214)

      I will eagerly anticipate reading about Starship's next advance in its own thread, but this thread is about New Shepard. Bezos has been working towards this moment for over twenty years. It costs us nothing to let him have his moment in the sun.

      I do wonder who the unnamed millionaire is, but apparently they wish to remain anonymous, though it seems strange to bid on such a high profile flight in that case. Who knows, maybe that was a private deal to get them on board? Some people are like that, not wanting their philanthropy to be known. Meh, no skin off my back and it let the Daemen kid get to be on the first flight. Funk has been waiting since the Mercury project to fly, so this is a big deal for her as well. She's the only member of the Mercury 13 to have that chance despite all of them having qualified.

      I may rag on Bezos, but he did this one right. May that continue.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @02:30PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @02:30PM (#1158259)

        He can't help it, he did the same thing in the Virgin launch story. He is completely obsessed with Starship to the point where you can't mention any other company without him doing this. It is his answer to pretty much every topic that comes up. "Starship will do this, Starship will do that . . ." He hasn't quite hit APK's host file spamming level from a few years ago, but he's toeing that line pretty closely where it is kind of creepy in that you don't get the feel that it is being done for trolling, but that he really is THAT obsessed with it. For now Musk is the Space Messiah whose shit doesn't stink.

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday July 20, @04:21PM

          by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Tuesday July 20, @04:21PM (#1158304) Journal

          Branson and Bezos are offering fluffed up, very brief suborbital joyrides. The Musky One is working on enabling a complete transformation of everything we do in space. Even a partially working Starship with no crew capability, the lower estimates for tons to orbit, and no in-orbit refuel would make it an order of magnitude cheaper to get payloads into space. So yeah, I'm going to mention what happened just yesterday even if I don't submit a story for it so you don't get SpaceX fatigue.

          You should see what I didn't choose to post [teslarati.com]:

          By the end of NASASpaceflight.com’s unofficial six-hour stream, the outlet’s excellent and unaffiliated coverage of SpaceX erecting part of a relatively simple tower for the seventh time had been viewed more than a quarter of a million times. By the end of Blue Origin’s official preflight briefing for a crewed launch set to carry the richest person on Earth, the company had accrued around 20,000 views on YouTube.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
  • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Tuesday July 20, @09:22AM (2 children)

    by Opportunist (5545) on Tuesday July 20, @09:22AM (#1158201)

    How many times do we get to hear that this guy now will REALLY SOON NOW pretend to go into space?

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday July 20, @09:29AM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Tuesday July 20, @09:29AM (#1158203) Journal

      The broadcast supposedly starts in 2 hours. So...

      This guy will really soon now reach the Kármán line.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @11:18AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @11:18AM (#1158220)

        >> This guy will really soon now reach the Kármán line.

        Or provide us with an endlessly amusing video clip if the rocket blows up on the way.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by SpockLogic on Tuesday July 20, @12:02PM

    by SpockLogic (2762) on Tuesday July 20, @12:02PM (#1158229)

    There is this giant dick on the launch pad ... and the rocket looks like one too.

    --
    Overreacting is one thing, sticking your head up your ass hoping the problem goes away is another - edIII
  • (Score: 2) by legont on Tuesday July 20, @12:46PM

    by legont (4179) on Tuesday July 20, @12:46PM (#1158234)

    I hope it runs on AWS.

    --
    "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @01:27PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @01:27PM (#1158240)

    They did it! Oldest and youngest people in space in one flight. Nice.
     

  • (Score: 2) by engblom on Tuesday July 20, @01:54PM (3 children)

    by engblom (556) on Tuesday July 20, @01:54PM (#1158249)

    What I reacted when I saw the stream was how hard the touchdown was. According to the stream it was 16 mph, almost 26 km/h. I once tested sitting in a car seat that goes down a short little slope at much slower speed to then stop at once. It gave pain in my testicles for many days. They must surely have felt pain in some organs.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by c0lo on Tuesday July 20, @02:21PM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 20, @02:21PM (#1158255) Journal

      It gave pain in my testicles for many days.

      No worries, they left their testicles at the launch pad.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday July 20, @02:26PM

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Tuesday July 20, @02:26PM (#1158256) Journal

      They fired retro rockets just before landing, so the impact was spread out more. Even if they fail to fire, they probably have better seats than you did. It also has "crushable bumpers". [wikipedia.org] There are worse playground accidents.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday July 20, @02:35PM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 20, @02:35PM (#1158262) Journal

      26km/h = 7.22 m/s. One reaches this Δv after falling for about 0.74s near Earth surface. And you'll get this Δv after falling from about 2.68m height.

      I wouldn't ask my 80+yo father to jump from that height, but it doesn't scare my testes into hiding in some other places.
      Granted, I'd think twice if I'd be dropped from that height while bound to a rigid chair, but maybe they didn't use concrete benches inside the capsule.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by jonathan on Tuesday July 20, @02:38PM (10 children)

    by jonathan (3950) on Tuesday July 20, @02:38PM (#1158267)

    The news makes it out to be quite an achievement and I have to give it to them as this is a private company. Someone I was listening to on the radio pointed out that after the 1st flight 60 years ago, all they can accomplish on this history 1st is weightlessness for 3 minutes, go 80km above the earth compared to 327 km, and couldn't even try to do an orbit around the earth.
    I wonder how many more of these flights they will need to do before they manage to match or surpass Yuri Gagarin's flight.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by ElizabethGreene on Tuesday July 20, @03:52PM (4 children)

      by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Tuesday July 20, @03:52PM (#1158292)

      I'd have loved Mr. Bezos to roll out to the pad with a ready to go super heavy lift man-rated spacecraft capable of reaching the outer planets.

      He has chosen to take a slower and more incremental development approach, and that's probably a wise choice. Making a bigger rocket exponentially increases the cost. Making an orbital rocket exponentially increases the cost. It's smart, but not sexy, to get the suborbital stuff nailed down before stretching up and out. This makes even more sense when you think about their future competition. SpaceX has blown up a lot of rockets, and is proud of it. Not having that legacy in the back of customer's minds could be a competitive advantage for Blue Origin in the future. We'll see.

      (Full disclosure: I'm a huge SpaceX fan.)
         

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @11:11PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @11:11PM (#1158493)

        There is nothing wise about it. Blue Origin has squandered a staggering amount of time and resources for so little gain when they could have been so much more.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @02:57AM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @02:57AM (#1158595)

          Not really, the point of it isn't to get into space, the point of it is to be Bezos' excuse for stealing all the wealth from workers. By that measure it's been hugely successful and the longer it takes, the more successful it is.

          • (Score: 2) by ElizabethGreene on Wednesday July 21, @02:19PM (1 child)

            by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Wednesday July 21, @02:19PM (#1158740)

            Have you stopped to consider if that Bezos "stealing all the wealth from workers" meme is true? It's been three years since they upped their starting wage to $15 per hour. Since they've done that all of the warehouse logistics jobs in my area have done the same. People won't even apply for under $13. That's put a huge amount of money in worker's pockets.

            I'm not arguing that Amazon fulfillment centers aren't hard places to work. They are. They pay a living wage though; that's a good thing, and other companies with far poorer CEOs should step up and do it too.

            "But he has soo much more money than the workers?"
            And? His money is in Amazon stock, and his wealth comes from holding that stock for almost two and a half decades. He held it back when they were just a bookstore and losing money hand over fist. He still held in the .com bust when every financial analyst predicted they were going to die any minute. He killed the stock price by reinvesting all of the company's profits back into AWS and shareholders were outraged. All the while he kept taking his $82,000 per year salary and accruing stock. His bet was right, and he shouldn't be punished for that. That opportunity for wealth creation still exists. Even the fulfillment center workers get RSUs, if their state allows it.

            Lets go pick on the dynastic wealth of billionaires that inherited it, not the ones that are useful to society.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Pav on Friday July 23, @10:11PM

              by Pav (114) on Friday July 23, @10:11PM (#1159485)

              Bezo's personal brand was hurt so badly by those terrible conditions (eg. standby ambulance becauses it was cheaper than installing airconditioning, workers forced to sh*t and piss in containers, hiding COVID infections to keep employees working without even providing them PPE, intimidating/sacking workers for trying to organise etc...) that he has stepped down as Amazon CEO to go on a charm offensive. Bezos is so tone deaf (and swarmed with brown-nosers) that he thinks this dick rocket ride will help. Internal documents (can't remember if they were leaked, required in court or whatever) have said Amazon works employees at burnout level because they're fungible... they're EXPECTED to be used up, health destroyed etc... Bezos knew he could just get new ones.

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday July 20, @04:08PM (2 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 20, @04:08PM (#1158299) Journal

      While I'm glad they made it safely, I'm glad this measuring and compensating contest is over.

      Now I hope that Blue Origin will actually get on to doing something truly useful. Like how about getting that BE-4 engine flight certified? Both your own New Glenn and ULA's Vulcan are depending on that engine. The future of both your companies may be depending on that.

      --
      OMG! There are roving gangs going door to door FORCING people to get vaccinated!
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @11:14PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @11:14PM (#1158494)

        ULA's future depends* on it but Blue Origin has never needed to turn a profit.

        *ULA should be able to retrofit Raptor engines in place of the BE-4s, but by the time things get bad enough to make that politically acceptable it will be far too late to save them.

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday July 21, @09:00PM

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 21, @09:00PM (#1158907) Journal

          I tend to think that a rocket is designed around the engine. I don't think you just swap out BE-4 for Raptor.

          Furthermore, there is no reason SpaceX may want to sell Raptors to enable a major competitor. Engines are probably one of the most proprietary elements, eg, secret sauce.

          --
          OMG! There are roving gangs going door to door FORCING people to get vaccinated!
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @06:52PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @06:52PM (#1158375)

      Yes - clean fuel for the trip up was impressive

    • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Tuesday July 20, @10:33PM

      by Opportunist (5545) on Tuesday July 20, @10:33PM (#1158480)

      Well, it mostly depends on whether they want to get into orbit altogether.

      If it's just supposed to be a rich boy's toy where rich people can buy a trip "to space", it's probably already what he wants to achieve. Reaching orbit takes A LOT more dV, and thus fuel and money.

      Maybe that's already all he wants to accomplish because that's something he can sell while a full orbital trip may be beyond the means of too many to be a valid, profitable target audience.

  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday July 20, @04:00PM (7 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 20, @04:00PM (#1158295) Journal

    Bezos has "been to space"! (for about 90 seconds.)

    And I've "been to New York(!)" (because my flight had a layover at JFK airport!)

    While these statements are technically true, they are simultaneously bovine excrement.

    In order to have "been to space" you need the ability to stay there and do something. Not because you happened to coast to the apex of an arc falling back to earth. You need at least one actual orbit to have "been to space".

    Later this year, SpaceX Inspiration One will be SpaceX's version of what Branson and Bozos did. Except they will actually go to space. And technically stay. Until they take proactive measures to return to earth.

    Meanwhile, Blue is not, so far, delivering a working BE-4 engine to either (A) its own New Glenn, or (B) ULA's Vulcan Centaur. [ulalaunch.com]. Blue is too focused on joyrides for the rich. SpaceX isn't doing joyrides for the rich until they had actual investors, government and commercial contracts, which they had actually performed, using actual reusable flying hardware. With new cutting edge hardware in development.

    If ULA does not get that BE-4 engine, and get its Vulcan three successful flights, plus a national security flight by end of 2022, they are probably over. It was probably a mistake of ULA to depend on Blue (its primary competitor) to focus on BE-4 development instead of joyrides. But SpaceX is their real competitor, but that is hardly a competition. If Blue does not get its New Glenn, maybe it is also probably over.

    --
    OMG! There are roving gangs going door to door FORCING people to get vaccinated!
    • (Score: 2, Funny) by nostyle on Tuesday July 20, @05:19PM

      by nostyle (11497) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 20, @05:19PM (#1158328) Journal

      That's one very small step for mankind, one giant leap for four passengers.

      --
      Like sex, the excitement only lasted about ten minutes, and all that remains is the memory and the clean-up.

    • (Score: 2) by pdfernhout on Wednesday July 21, @02:08AM (5 children)

      by pdfernhout (5984) on Wednesday July 21, @02:08AM (#1158568) Homepage

      (me from 2005) https://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=172243&cid=14342064 [slashdot.org]
      "So, as I see it, launch costs are not a bottleneck. So while lowering launch costs may be useful, by itself it ultimately has no value without someplace to live in space. And all the innovative studies on space settlement say that space colonies will not be built from materials launched from earth, but rather will be built mainly from materials found in space.
            So, what is a bottleneck is that we do not know how to make that seed self-replicating factory, or have plans for what it should create once it is landed on the moon or on a near-earth asteroid. We don't have (to use Bucky Fuller's terminology) a Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science ... that lets us make sense of all the various manufacturing knowledge which is woven throughout our complex economy (and in practice, despite patents, is essentially horded and hidden and made proprietary whenever possible) in order to synthesize it to build elegant and flexible infrastructure for sustaining human life in style in space (or on Earth).
            So that is why I think billionaires like Jeff Bezos spending money on CATS [Cheap Access to Space] is a tragedy -- they should IMHO be spending their money on DOGS instead (Design of Great Settlements). ..."

      --
      The biggest challenge of the 21st century: the irony of technologies of abundance used by scarcity-minded people.
      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday July 21, @08:58PM (4 children)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 21, @08:58PM (#1158905) Journal

        while lowering launch costs may be useful, by itself it ultimately has no value without someplace to live in space.

        I would say that if you can't get to space affordably, you're never going to develop anything in or for space.

        Affordable access seems the prerequisite to everything else.

        IMO, you can't have DOGS without first having CATS.

        --
        OMG! There are roving gangs going door to door FORCING people to get vaccinated!
        • (Score: 2) by pdfernhout on Saturday July 24, @03:15PM (3 children)

          by pdfernhout (5984) on Saturday July 24, @03:15PM (#1159586) Homepage

          Sorry I obviously was not clear enough, as you missed the point I was making. Launch costs are not the bottleneck for millions of people to travel to space. Living with style in space is the bottleneck because there is (almost) nothing to do in space right now other than a bit of tourism. It is like saying we need to reduce costs to travel to travel to Antarctica without thinking about what people would do once they go there. The reason millions of people don't live in Antarctica right now (a far more hospitable place than space in many ways given air and water) has little to do with travel costs and everything to do with lack of technical know how or vision of living there. If it only cost you $1000 to travel to the Moon or Mars or L5, why would you want to move to space right now any more than moving to Antarctica for $1000 (roughly the actual cost one-way)? That is why Bezos, Branson, and Musk all have suboptimal investment priorities if they want to help humanity expand beyond Earth's surface. It would be better instead to invest in understanding how to make things.

          I posted more about this the other day on the green site: https://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=19368431&cid=61603087 [slashdot.org]
          "And as I point out on the OSCOMAK website and elsewhere, and as Bucky Fuller and others have said before me, this sort of technological understanding of Design Science could make the Earth a happier place. It does not have to be "either/or" -- it can be "both". For example, automated greenhouses can help people on Earth and in Space. Wastewater filtering can help on Earth and in Space. 3D printing can help on Earth and in Space. Knowing how to produce electricity from photovoltaic materials can help both on Earth and in Space. Knowing how to design products for cradle-to-cradle production can help both on Earth and in Space. Knowing how to sequence DNA and treat viral infections or cancer can help on Earth and in Space. Understanding "Crew Resource Management" can help on Earth and in Space. And so on. And we have so much knowledge already. But we have not organized it well in part due to the point in my sig -- people using abundance (e.g. computers) from a scarcity perspective (e.g. excessively long copyrights and excessively broad patents, R&D money waste on "me too" similar products or reinventing the wheel, academics refusing to share knowledge and source code funded by public dollars, etc.). We could have built a tower to the stars with all we know and can do already -- but instead we struggle to get anything cooperative done amidst a babel of legal mumbo jumbo where people (e.g. Aaron Swartz) can face more jail time for sharing information than for murder. Still, progress is made -- but it is much slower than it could be if someone like Jeff Bezos had invested in organizing information instead of building another rocketship. But it may be hard to see that when he made so much money related to selling copyrighted books using a proprietary private logistics system. Like Upton Sinclair said in 1934: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!""

          --
          The biggest challenge of the 21st century: the irony of technologies of abundance used by scarcity-minded people.
          • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday July 26, @03:06PM (2 children)

            by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 26, @03:06PM (#1160011) Journal

            Living with style in space is the bottleneck because there is (almost) nothing to do in space right now other than a bit of tourism. It is like saying we need to reduce costs to travel to travel to Antarctica without thinking about what people would do once they go there.

            I maintain that there is some merit to the notion that if you don't have cheap access to space / Antarctica, you're not going to develop a thriving population or colony there.

            The thriving population or colony depends on the ability to ship lots of freight and construction materials. Otherwise, you don't have a place for people to do any of the activities they would do once they get there. If they can't get their (affordably) then you'll never do anything there other than flags and footprints. Or a tiny, like 3 person, colony.

            Without cheap access and transportation of freight, you won't have any hotels, McDonalds, or tourists in Antarctica or space. If everything must be flown in using a specialized aircraft / spacecraft maintained just for that purpose, don't expect tourism to happen. IMO.

            --
            OMG! There are roving gangs going door to door FORCING people to get vaccinated!
            • (Score: 2) by pdfernhout on Tuesday July 27, @01:18AM (1 child)

              by pdfernhout (5984) on Tuesday July 27, @01:18AM (#1160244) Homepage

              "Living off the land" in space is the hope (and was the reality for people moving to the Americas or Australia overall). Every kilogram shipped to space beyond people is a design failure or a policy failure. For a start on how to live off the land in space, see:
              http://www.islandone.org/MMSG/aasm/ [islandone.org]
              "What follows is a portion of the final report of a NASA summer study, conducted in 1980 by request of newly-elected President Jimmy Carter at a cost of 11.7 million dollars. The result of the study was a realistic proposal for a self-replicating automated lunar factory system, capable of exponentially increasing productive capacity and, in the long run, exploration of the entire galaxy within a reasonable timeframe. Unfortunately, the proposal was quietly declined with barely a ripple in the press. What was once concievable with 1980's technology is now even more practical today. Even if you're just skimming through this document, the potential of this proposed system is undeniable. Please enjoy. ..."

              See especially "Figure 5.41. - Flowsheet and process equations for the HF acid-leach process":
              http://www.islandone.org/MMSG/aasm/AASM5E.html#f541 [islandone.org]

              Or if you prefer a biotech approach, consider:
              https://www.technologyreview.com/1999/09/01/236570/revolutionary-visions/ [technologyreview.com]
              "By the late 21st or early 22nd centuries, Dyson speculates, biotech products such as warmblooded plants that grow their own greenhouses will enable humanity to create Earth-like environments on other worlds, beginning a vast migration to Mars, the asteroids, or the comets of the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune."

              More stuff: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=living+off+the+land+in+space [duckduckgo.com]

              "Living Off the Land in Space: Green Roads to the Cosmos 2007th Edition
              by Gregory L. Matloff (Author), Les Johnson (Author), C. Bangs (Author) "
              https://www.amazon.com/Living-Off-Land-Space-Cosmos/dp/0387360549 [amazon.com]

              "Pioneering Space Requires Living Off the Land in the Solar System"
              https://www.nasa.gov/feature/pioneering-space-requires-living-off-the-land-in-the-solar-system/ [nasa.gov]
              "As NASA continues preparing for the Journey to Mars, the technology now in development is expanding beyond the spacecraft and propulsion systems needed to get there. NASA scientists and engineers also are developing systems to harness abundant resources available in the solar system to support these pioneering missions. The practice is called in-situ resource utilization, or ISRU. Like early European settlers coming to America, planetary pioneers will not be able to take everything they need, so many supplies will need to be gathered and made on site. The concept focuses on how to turn a planetary body’s atmosphere and dusty soils into everything from building materials for shelters on Mars to rocket fuel for the trip back to Earth. Much of this work is taking place at NASA’s [Kennedy] Space Center in Florida. Center Director Bob Cabana recently explained that the agency is moving to a new era in space travel. ..."

              Obviously there is a middle ground. If it is cheaper to go in space, then yes, there may be some more interest in living off the land in space. And if you can live off the land in space, then there will be motivation to reduce launch costs. Still, if I had to chose one or the other, a better "Bucky Fuller" Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science to live off the land in space or in the oceans or in the deserts or in Antarctica or even in New York City is the one of the two which is the better choice as there is more widespread benefit. For example, the increasing knowledge on how to make cheaper and more efficient solar panels or better batteries benefits both Earthlings and Spacers. Automated greenhouses help both Earthlings and Spacers. Better 3D printing helps both Earthlings and spaces. Improved medical understanding like regarding nutrition and health helps both Earthlings and Spacers. Improved techniques for conflict resolution and decision making like via Dialogue Mapping using IBIS help both Earthlings and Spacers. And so on. Some technologies may be more dual use than others perhaps. But in any case, the more we understand how to make things and how to live in healthy ways, the easier it will be to build sustainable habitats for people (and other creatures) to live in anywhere in the cosmos.

              --
              The biggest challenge of the 21st century: the irony of technologies of abundance used by scarcity-minded people.
              • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday July 27, @03:50PM

                by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 27, @03:50PM (#1160380) Journal

                We have to live off the land in space.

                At first, we need to be able to get there, bring freight there, and have a long supply chain, for a while.

                Living off the land is the end goal. Not the first thing that can be done.

                --
                OMG! There are roving gangs going door to door FORCING people to get vaccinated!
  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Beryllium Sphere (r) on Tuesday July 20, @04:37PM (1 child)

    by Beryllium Sphere (r) (5062) on Tuesday July 20, @04:37PM (#1158312)

    On this date in history, in 1969, our species used thousands of years of shared brilliance and great effort and courage to complete our journey from the plains of Africa to the Sea of Tranquility.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Opportunist on Tuesday July 20, @10:40PM

      by Opportunist (5545) on Tuesday July 20, @10:40PM (#1158482)

      Also, by now more time has passed between the first US person doing this and today than between the first powered plane flight by the Wright brothers and Freedom 7.

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