“Stay calm, explore the mysterious red planet, research unexpected discoveries, figure out how to get home alive and become part of modern space exploration history!”
“Star Trek – all versions of the series – have made admirable attempts to do the right thing within the laws of physics. And, where they’re on the frontier? That’s where the imagination of the writers and the creativity of the science fiction themes come in. But you can’t undo the well-tested and well-known laws of physics that oughta serve as your foundation for what you’re doing. Otherwise the whole thing just becomes fantasy – and you might as well just write a story no different from Lord of the Rings or Star Wars.”
“Star Wars…it was to…I, I never got into it…I donno…maybe because they made no attempt to portray real physics. At all.”
We aren’t really fans of either – viewing their reliance upon interstellar space-travel as having set-back exploration of our own solar system – now, with humans – with real, doable, nearly-off the shelf technology. Not warp drives or Xwing absurdities. …But we are definitely fans of Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Case in point…for reasons beyond comprehension 32 geniuses spent 17,336 hours of semi-conscious human life constructing a replica of a vehicle which has never and will never fly, anywhere. Even if it were made of something else other than 5 million legos. Why don’t these wizards volunteer at SpaceX or Blue Origin for 4 months – sweeping shop floors would have been more noble. Or help Bill Gates eradicate polio. This is shameful…(really):
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The former JPL engineer and investment fund manager Dennis Tito has proposed private enterprise send a married couple on a 501 day flight around Mars in 2018. This mission, called Inspiration Mars, is similar to the Apollo 8 lunar fly-by and an important critical step in making humanity a spacefaring multi-planet species. Without debating the merits of space exploration in this thread (please assume it is a worthwhile endeavor), what are your thoughts on Amazon partnering with Tito to ensure the success of Inspiration Mars?
The mission will be televised. Tito views this as a principle source of revenue. Over a billion dollars will be required to purchase hardware. Hundreds of millions of tech savvy, science literate, potentially life-long ideal Amazon customers will watch it repeatedly…for over a year and a half. Jeff Bezos founded a space exploration company called Blue Origin in the year 2000 to advance “space access for everyone”. It would seem there are natural synergies between Blue, Inspiration Mars, and Amazon’s online broadcast infrastructure and ambitions.
Amazon Studios has stated they are uninterested in reality television. But someone will do this. It will make money. The exact same infrastructure used to broadcast narrative programming developed by Amazon Studios could be improved through revenues generated by “Amazon Studios: Inspiration Mars”. Someone will do this…Youtube & Google…Disney & The Science Channel…Netflix & National Geographic…NBC & Facebook…why not Amazon Studios in concert with National Geographic, the Science Channel, NBC, Facebook, Disney, et al?
Amazon Studios could lead this effort – effectively partnering with Tito. Blue Origin would have a direction, a guiding purpose, a long-term first step to Mars…Amazon Studios would foster profitable high-level relationships with Facebook and secondary media markets (for rebroadcast of key events such as launch, landing, and the 100 mile altitude Mars fly-by)…Amazon Studios would also receive incredible worldwide exposure for their other projects, and, investments in its infrastructure across the board…Amazon Prime would attract _millions_ of new subscribers…Inspiration Mars would receive deep-pocketed space-literate funding to ensure adequate radiation shielding and robust redundant life support…Amazon would profit from network rebroadcasts (think Olympics only Amazon owns the original footage)…Warner Bros and Amazon Studios would acquire unique proprietary footage of: the launch, the couple (“actors”) in zero g, the craft in orbit, and of course Mars imagery…humanity would be a step closer to establishing a research settlement on Mars in our lifetimes. This is doable.
Someone will do this. Inspiration Mars is searching for partners. The synergies are greatest with Amazon. Google could do this, but Amazon, Blue, and Bezos can do it better.
Thoughts? (feedback via @oceanbluesky )
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“Permanently deranged from an asteroid that leveled his base, Rabe Crater, believes himself a God sent to destroy. Commanding a massive army, he’s entered your region hungry for conquest. Can you defend yourself against the full force of Rabe and his terrible horde?”
The ‘Lucinda Test’ is the point in development of ‘cultured steak‘ alternatives at which a person with refined culinary taste cannot tell the difference in a blind taste test between animal harvested tenderloin and synthetic tenderloin of comparable cost and nutritional value.
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“I have absolutely no problem with non-meat cookery – I just think it should be proud of its vegetarian nature. Not trying to mimic something else through the use of meat substitutes. As far as I’m concerned, there are no substitutes to meat. But that’s my opinion and clearly many of you disagree. The market for meat substitutes is currently worth two hundred million pounds a year and increasing. […] Whole meal bread – you know, ground wheat, fermented, cooked in an oven – cheese, milk which you keep until it goes rotten and rancid and lumpy, and then you eat it. Why should anyone regard those as natural – they’re completely artificial. They’re traditional technologies. These are new technologies. […] The production of meat as we now do it is completely unsustainable. So, the economics of it make much more sense. The other thing is you’re eating meat that hasn’t involved the death of an animal. And from my point of view that would be the single greatest advantage of all.”
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“A meat-eater with a bicycle is much more environmentally friendly than a vegetarian with a Hummer. […] And we all know that…the bio-industry is, sort of, ah…animal…unfriendly. […] The thing is you can play with it. You can make it much more efficient than a cow or a pig. So we can increase the efficiency of this process – that’s where our gain actually is. And we could potentially tweak the feeding of these cells in a way that it becomes a more healthy product.”
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“We like our meat to come from the disgusting salmonella infested sources we’re used to…like sidewalk hotdog stands. And spam. […] When you’ve got something that could potentially end climate change, heart disease, and maybe even world hunger – doesn’t it seem shortsighted just because it seems gross?”
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“As my graduate students know, when I teach my business classes at Space Studies, I tell them, ah, to put more faith in people and their accomplishments, than, maybe in the good idea or the market research or the financial analysis. Because people who have accomplished great things over and over again – know how to do that, know how to run a business, know how to make things happen – and, while there happens to be a lot of things with SpaceX that I may not understand or may not appreciate – for example Grasshopper and their reusability – I don’t for one minute shortchange what Elon Musk and his team can put together and do. Because I look at people and people make the difference. So having met Elon early on, back when he was talking about Mars Oasis, long before SpaceX existed, I, ah, am a believer in SpaceX and I think my expectations have been met – although, I probably had some, ah, ‘go fever’, ah, with John on the telephone – especially one night with Falcon One launches – um, you know we thought, ah, things might happen a little bit quicker, ah, then then did, but, um, I think overall my expectations especially of late have certainly matched the capabilities and progress of SpaceX. I’ve been there several times. I know quite a few of the people. Ah. I’m very impressed with their commitment and their workforce. And ah, again, ah, you look at Elon, you look at Gwen – who, who now is the CEO – ah and um, I think you’d be a real fool to bet against ’em. And that’s what I tell people all the time. You know, it’s hard to go against a winner. And, Elon and that team to me are proven winners. So I, I’m – my expectations are probably now tracking their progress realistically. I think earlier on I, I may have been, a little over optimistic, but, um, Elon was really forthcoming at various conferences and saying “Everything I said before you should throw out because it’s a hell of a lot harder than I used – than I thought it was going to be”. And, and I think he’s learned an awful lot as well and ah I think he’s a great businessman.”
“Guys I’m going to read you an email that’s just come in…it has absolutely nothing to do with the tribute show but it has everything to do with it. Okay? So ah, I don’t know this person, and ah, they’re referencing a paper I wrote in the Space Review – I don’t know, five years ago – so, stuff does have a life, right? So ah, this is from a gentleman named Guillermo, so if I butcher his name I really apologize, Caranza? And ah, he says, “Hello Dr. Livingston my name is Guillermo. I have a son who is in the seventh grade and is doing a project about the pros and cons of space exploration. He read your article in the Space Review ‘Is Space Exploration Worth the Cost’ and was wondering if he could ask you some questions on ‘Why space exploration should stop’. Could you please take the time to help him out? Your time is appreciated. Thank you, Guillermo and his son Diego.” Now John will remember last year that a University of Texas in Austin professor’s son sent me a letter and said that he wrote a paper for – I think it was his middle school class or maybe it was high-school – ah, that space exploration should stop and is not worth the money and wanted my thoughts on it. I tried to get the kid to come on the space show but he wouldn’t do it. But, but I did respond to his letter – I read it without his name, on the Space Show – and we turned a couple programs into responding to the kid. So, the Space Show also reaches people like this, so, seventh grade, ah, and he’s wondering why space exploration should stop. You know when I was growing up guys, you know I was in the seventh grade – that was never ever a consideration. I mean I bet for each of you nobody ever considered stopping space exploration when we were school kids. John when your daughter – your daughter is my kids’ age – that wasn’t even in the consciousness twenty eight years ago. [John on phone: “That’s right.”] Why now? And, and just as a challenge, for the Space Show, and for all of us space cadets, this tells me that we have a lot of work to do. So, I will respond – to Guillermo and his son.
Doug: I agree, one of the things – sorry –
David: I said I will respond to Guillermo and his son, probably tomorrow.
Doug: Ok, that’s, that’s one of the age old things about distribution of resources. And it’s based on assumption that I think is false. And the assumption is that everything is a zero sum game and that if you take away from one area then that can be used to fund something else. And then people start arguing about the priorities, but, my philosophy would be that ideally you make the pie bigger. And then you don’t have those kinds of fights. And you see that a lot in the academic world as you know David where professors think that the only way that they can gain something is by ah, taking it from somebody else in the university system and competing for resources, instead of going out and, eh, expanding the resource base. It’s really what space exploration, should, be doing for, humanity.
David: Ah, absolutely, and ah – what’s a seventh grader – is that a fourteen year old Doug?
Doug: Ah maybe about thirteen, fourteen.
David: Around thirteen, fourteen?
David: Ah for them to even think of space exploration stopping…that’s troubling on its own. I mean, that’s at the age where you should be wanting to go to Mars. And, and go out there, and, have the adventure and build and create and travel to other solar systems and go faster than light and do all the, the things that we, we dreamed of – right?? But, but, why stop it?? Ah, so, that – I find that kinda troubling. And ah, ah, maybe he could do a Space Show with me and his father.
[this blog uses ‘factual fiction’ quotation to inspire realistic dialogue…”ums” and “ahs” are not meant to be insulting…]
Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Man_theory
Leonardo Da Vinci-esque sketch of ‘Brain in a Can’Literally…the brain……going into the can……something dark and foreboding……more dark and foreboding…(because it’s sci-fi)…That’s it. Kid you not: the brain in a can……Zero G Brain-in-a-Can..…Brain-in-a-Can on shuttle [had to use free NASA footage but…]…Brain-in-a-Can again…closeup……launched by hand from the shuttle…seriously……memory of brain now canned……second generation brain…(improved can)……institutionalized nuttiness……future people in future white labs with future white coats…like all future people……and their odd distracting pointless graphics……guilty but paroled…thanks for at least not making space ‘a problem’……hundreds of “Kronos Spheres” sent out yonder……the end.