Closing Thought–15Feb18

No surprise that I am an OLD FART!  I remember when NASA was an institution that brought great pride to most Americans…..we celebrated our 1st dude in space and our first to circle the globe and the first space walk and finally our walk on the moon…..and then as quickly as we fell in love with space we fell out of love.

Those were the days of fiscal responsibility and NASA lost all its allure…..maybe to never have it again.

Well it looks like billionaire and Tesla owner Elon Musk, an immigrant,  may be trying to revive our space enthusiasm…..

SpaceX’s big new rocket has blasted off on its first test flight, carrying a red sports car on an endless road trip past Mars. The Falcon Heavy rocket rose Tuesday from the same Florida launch pad used by NASA nearly 50 years ago to send men to the moon, per the AP. With liftoff, the Heavy became the most powerful rocket in use today. The three boosters and 27 engines roared to life at Kennedy Space Center, as thousands jammed surrounding beaches, bridges, and roads to watch the rocket soar, delayed more than two hours by high wind.

Two of the boosters were recycled and programmed to return for a simultaneous touchdown at Cape Canaveral, while the third, brand new, set its sights on an ocean platform some 300 miles offshore. SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk owns the rocketing Tesla Roadster, which is shooting for a solar orbit that will reach all the way to Mars. As head of the electric carmaker Tesla, he combined his passions to add a dramatic flair to the Heavy’s long-awaited inaugural flight. Musk previously said the auto would be in “deep space for a billion years or so.” The Heavy is intended for massive satellites, like those used by the US military and major-league communication companies. Even before the test flight, customers were signed up.

A screenshot of the "Starman" mannequin in the Telsa Roadster orbiting Earth.

Too cool……

My day is finished thanx for stopping by…….. hope to see you guys tomorrow…..chuq

24 thoughts on “Closing Thought–15Feb18

  1. I was going to do a post on SpaceX also.. but more along the lines of.. well, the usual reflection on the good old days. Elon Musk’s adventures in space is the inevitable end to the essence of the old NASA; when exploring space was a government program that not only challenged our national ability to attain technological prowess but required hero humans to man rockets that were simply deviations of ballistic missiles. The nation loved NASA, loved the astronauts, loved the space program. The inevitable was always to be the logical progression to turn space over to commercial interests because that is what government does.. develop new frontiers for the purpose of advancing mankind. Columbus was financed by Spain.. and the end result of all that was our current world.

    But…. in spite of my understanding, and acceptance, of the “eminent domain” progression of man.. I can’t help but feel a twinge of remorse of this guy using “our space” the first astronauts conquered at risk of their lives for some commercial enterprise that so far is using space as a punchline for a joke in sending a damn automobile with a spaceman mannequin behind the wheel into the far reaches of space. There’s a distinct lack of reverence (which by the way, seems prevalent all the way to the White House these days) of what was accomplished by others to be able for him to do this stunt. BUT.. as I said.. Musk is the inevitable progression of man in the exploration of our little space between here and the moon. It’s not “our space” anymore… it’s man’s space. Musk is simply the vanguard of things to come. Watching the old sci-fi films of the 1950’s, it was a dream imagining seeing a rocket descend back to earth vertically. Now it’s an amazing visual reality; I am in total awe watching that… and they are re-usable.

    I witnessed two astronaut launches of the old Saturn V from the Cape back in the day. Still way more powerful than the Falcon Heavy… I was ten miles away and felt the heat wave flow over me a few seconds after liftoff.

    My “twinge” of the exciting NASA of the past will fade with the demise of the last baby boomer.

    1. Maybe it will inject some desire in the public to return to space….I mean soon the ISS will be privatized so the outer space stuff will be corporation versus corporation….there is a movie in there some where….chuq

    2. Yeah, we sunk who knows how many of OUR billions into it. Then some billionaire douchebags get to reap all the credit & all the economic rewards….totally bastardizing it in the process. They’ll make it conform, not to some common good for mankind, or scientific benefit…but into self-promoting, masturbatory, events.

      This stuff should be exciting, but it’s just not. NASA was undeniably bold, ballsy and brave. This is just more of the same bullshit we have an oversupply of. Space-privatization also helps lock us into a future that de-legitimizes government and promotes corporate rule at a time when we need the exact opposite.

      1. Sorry, but it gets my goat when the undeserving new displaces the more-deserving old. It ain’t just nostalgia (I wasn’t born yet) it’s straight-up merit!

        Those early astronauts had to have balls the size of watermelons. They were crammed into oversized pop-cans that they knew could (and did) explode at any minute. But ultimately, they persevered. Getting to the moon was a triumph of the human spirit (and analogue design.)

        Now we have tech-billionaires getting (further) worshipped for doing something not even 1% as impressive or 1 millionth as risky as what NASA actually accomplished some 50 years ago using all the computing power of today’s dollar store calculator! And they did it much faster than Spaced-X, too!

      2. Those guys legacy will be a mention in a book somewhere…..GOP is gutting NASA ans soon it will be a memory to old farts…..but if we are gonna go any further

    1. I well remember the proud at our successes….I was in Vietnam with the moon walk….even there I could feel the pride in our country…..yes I remember them well….chuq

  2. So a billionaire (or however much he has) has fired a red car into space, to pointlessly roam around Mars.
    This at a time when poverty in America is at a modern high, and the healthcare system is crumbling too.
    Couldn’t he have done something useful with his money, instead of wasting it on a stunt for his car company?
    To be honest, that sort of thing makes me despair about ‘personal wealth’. And it is quite sickening too.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. I understand your spirit, Pete… and I did reply with my own apprehensions and nostalgia for the old NASA, but in Musk’s defense here… very true his end result is a commercial application of space as his aim is taking tourists for a ride and maybe venturing to the moon later, but in this case it was an unmanned test launch which required some form of ballast in the nose.. and his vehicle idea was indeed original and from a business standpoint he got a lot of free press for his mission and his Tesla.. brand identification. My concern is more about assuming the responsibility of observing proper safety and environmental concerns in launches and I hope NASA is doing that. It’s one thing to pitch your trash into deep space but we don’t really need more garbage in earth orbit to cause environmental and/or people issues should it come down, or even become a navigational space hazard when human orbital travel becomes more common place. On top of that, I am sure NASA doesn’t want some corporate corner-cutting resulting in a bad launch (since they know first hand what happens). But, my friend.. maybe NASA needs more socialists in Mission Control. 🙂

      1. If Musky wants to unload one of his “old” (thus jettison worthy) cars, I’d take it off his hands.

    2. American billionaires pretend to do good with their money kinda like Gates and others….at least this guy was up front and not a turd like the rest of them….but I agree he could have used that cash more wisely…..chuq

      1. While I don’t think Musky is nearly as bad as the average 1%-er, he most certainly is a self-aggrandizing turd…particularly for a Canuck. For one, this guy is so “important”, he has a triple citizenship!!! (South Africa, Canuckistan, US)

        He’s “earned” so much money off our tech-addiction, he can cavalierly burn it as rocket fuel to convert his “old” (thus obsolete landfill, even though its still good as new) 6-digit sports-car into space garbage. Not very enviro-friendly, Elon. Meanwhile, half of America is 1-2 paychecks away from living in their car Their future prospects grow dimmer by the day and, whatever good he’s doing, Musky’s also helping to dim them.

        While I like electric cars, Musky is pretending to “save the world” with cars only the Top10% can ever hope to afford. Yet, instead of concentrating on widening the electric car market and making them more efficient, the company now seems more intent on producing self-driving transport trucks. Because existing diesel trucks are perfectly adequate (in a mistakenly non-train-based transport system) and a more efficient/productive use of resources than personal vehicles…companies will buy these for the SOLE PURPOSE of un-employing millions in the transportation business. Another of the few jobs that can’t be off-shored will now be automated. Now everyone can be homeless. Huzzah!

        Meanwhile, Musky’s grandiose mission to Mars is really part of a Bladerunner-esque future where the 1% have abandoned the planet to start fresh. The rest of us?..Well, we’re the reason humanity failed, not them. The sad truth is that the resources used to make Mars even mildly “livable” are FAR, FAR, greater than what it would take to make Earth considerably more “livable”. They just don’t want to do it because it requires sacrifice on their part. Either way, Spaced-X is a mission premised on Earth being a “failed planet”. So, I just have real trouble cheering for Spaced-X, especially at NASA’s expense.

        The orgiastic fans, the skyward poses, the Riefenstahl-like promotional videos….This is a straight-up personality cult!!! It also may be the point in history where “obsolete” notions of “self-government” transition into a human appendix and where the 1% step in to become good ‘ol fashioned kings…God’s earthly representatives to declare fealty to.

        Where the hell is Gus Grissom when you need him?

      2. I have no doubt that only the 1% will progress past this world….average person will be nothing but the labor for the 1% in the future and future worlds….chuq

      3. Naw, I’m worried my enemies will use it to track me down and give me a “mysterious heart attack”. Besides, why pay for a blog when I can blog for free on other people’s blogs?

      4. “Finding political sanity”?

        Obviously, you’re on a suicide mission. They’ll probably find your skeleton next to Amelia Earhart’s in about 200 years. Cause of Death: “The result of countless self-inflicted head wounds from a blunt object, possibly a wall.”

        But it’s so rare for me to be invited somewhere, as opposed to being dis-invited from somewhere, I feel obliged to at least take a peak.

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