Private flights to the International Space Station & Virgin Galactic.

Posted: April 26, 2012. At: 3:41 AM. This was 5 years ago. Post ID: 3618


Private enterprise in America have constructed an unmanned space vehicle that is intending to launch into space and dock with the International Space Station making this the first private vehicle that will make the trip. The International Space Station is orbiting the Earth at 19,000 miles an hour and catching up with it must be one mean feat. I hope that some private enterprise company can scrape together enough resources to make a trip to the Moon, even if they just orbit and do not land on the dusty surface as the Apollo astronauts did in 1969. That was a momentous moment in human history, making news around the world. Now no one seems to care about space, which has the potential to preserve some of the human race in the event of a disaster befalling the Earth and advance scientific knowledge as well. The Voyager probe has left the solar system; traveling at 33,000 miles an hour it will take 40,000 years before it comes near another star. And it is still sending back data to this day. The ├╝ber reliable computers used in its construction are the key to this. Hopefully with the push into space fueled by Space X, we will see more and more ventures like this that are reigniting scientific interest among the general public. This has been waning lately; more and more people are interested in reality television instead of things that actually matter.

The asteroid belt betwixt Jupiter and Mars is a rich source of mineral wealth worth trillions of dollars to the first people to manage a mining operation that can extract the precious metals and other valuable materials that could be brought back to Earth. The main stumbling block is the cost and the danger of manned missions that far away from Earth and the time taken to travel that far in order to mine the minerals. A robotic mission would make a lot more sense, robots would not be slowly killed by the dangerous radiation, and they do not need to sleep or eat. Mining the Moon, being much closer to planet Earth makes more sense initially, a Moon base sounds like it would be a very expensive option right now, but constructing a radio telescope on the dark side of the Moon would mean that it would be shielded from radiation whilst that part of the Moon was dark allowing for the use of much more sensitive equipment that would also not be affected by radio waves from the Earth. Not to forget that you could build a huge optical telescope on the Moon as well, but this would be vulnerable to micrometeorite damage. Large optical telescopes can be built on Earth that can warp the mirror to compensate for the effect of light from a star being refracted through our atmosphere. This makes ground based telescopes worthwhile again.

Capa in his spacesuit.
Capa in his spacesuit.

I hope that in the future, we will see more exploration of outer space somehow, this is important as their are many things that we could construct in space that would benefit humanity as a whole. I have done some work on the website, deleting a ton of old postings left over from my old blog postings that were not getting any traffic. And I have deleted a massive amount of spam comments as well, removing all the cruft from your website will help you in the long run as this posting explains. After the Google Panda update which might help remove a lot of spam blogs from the main Google index, it seems to have let some through. I have seen websites where the entire website consisted of auto-generated content, they only exist to use Google advertisements to make money and they can not write original content at all. If the spam blogs were removed and only blogs that actually write useful content could get search traffic then the Internet would be a better place. You need to judge a websites worth with many techniques, mostly by how many people are linking to the website and also whether the links are body content links or comment spam links. Comment spam is extremely prevalent on WordPress blogs and also PHPBB message board software. Installing the Google Captcha plugin for WordPress or PHPBB is the best way I have found of dealing with this.

Getting back to the topic of space travel, it might not be too long until the Virgin Galactic are offering passenger flights out to sight see at the International Space Station and have a look at the huge space station up close. That would be an incredible experience for the passengers to photograph it and be that close to a real space station. There was an expedition planned to the center of the Earth through an active volcano, but that was an April Fool’s joke by Richard Branson, the Virgin Galactic founder who made the announcement ten years ago. Even now we do not have the technology to travel to the center of the Earth, the pressure is about 57,800,000 psi and it is 6000 degrees Celsius; as hot as the surface of the Sun. A funny prank though, even if you could make the journey you would not be able to see anything. The Virgin spacecraft will be launched from beneath an airplane that will carry it up into the atmosphere and then release it for its flight at 50,000 feet altitude. If the engines on the spacecraft fail, it can just glide back to Earth. Releasing from a plane was used by the X15 experimental supersonic plane decades ago. The Virgin Galactic craft will use engines powered by a mixture of solid and liquid fuels. Rather like the Mythbusters Civil War rocket. That worked very well powered by solid fuel and a liquid oxidizer.

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