Category Archives: Space

Space Settlement Straw Man

I don’t know whether this guy’s ideas for carbon capture make economic sense or not, but this I see a lot of this sort of nonsense:

You quote the Jesuit philosopher Thomas Berry, who writes about our being inseparable from the Earth. That’s not trending in Silicon Valley the way, say, terraforming Mars is.

What the hell do we do when we’ve trashed the hell out of Earth? We escape to another planet! That appears to be the attitude from the tech-os. Well, I find that hugely irresponsible. Why waste billions on going to Mars when we should be putting that into nourishing Earth? It’s your classic mechanical mind gone to the extreme, and I find it abhorrent from people that are meant to be intelligent. We are an integral part of Earth and until we start nurturing her, we are going to go down the gurgler. Maybe a few of those tech-os will end up on a spaceship, but the rest of us won’t.

I don’t know anyone who wants to escape to another planet because we’ve trashed the earth.

Interior Design

of long-duration space ships. I’d like to attend that event, but it looks like it coincides with the Space Transportation Conference in DC.

These issues are why I’ve never taken any Mars plans by NASA seriously. Until we dramatically reduce the cost of access to space, so we can afford an armada of spacious vehicles, sending humans to Mars will be a pipe dream, but at least Elon is taking that problem seriously, even if he’s doing nothing about the partial-gravity issue.

[Update a few minutes later]

Oops, there is no conflict, but I still can’t go; it starts tomorrow. I wonder if Lurio will attend?

Sixteen Years Ago

Columbia was lost on this date in 2003, putting a final stake through the heart of the Space Shuttle program. We were staying at a Residence Inn in San Bruno (Patricia was working in Millbrae), when I was awoken by someone on the east coast with the news. Here were my immediate thoughts, which held up pretty well, I think. And if you go to this page, you’ll find that post at the bottom, but can scroll up to see my further reflections over the next few days (or click on “Next post” from the first blog link). I had only been blogging for a year and a half or so at the time.

Today, Ian Kluft had a thread on Twitter on his recollection of seeing the disaster live, though at the time he didn’t know exactly what was happening:

[Early-afternoon update]

Here is the archived version with comments. In that post, and this one, you can see the beginning of formulating my thoughts for the book, though it wouldn’t happen for another eight years or so.