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Re: [OT] Re: shuttle disaster

On Sun, 2003-02-02 at 11:30, sean finney wrote:
> On Sun, Feb 02, 2003 at 07:13:02AM +0800, csj@mindgate.net wrote:
> > The slashdot post was about Redhat in space. I doubt if it was
> > actually on board the shuttle in question. But that is neither
> > here nor there. I feel sad. The tragic loss aside, it also means
> > that the manned space program will be set back by another couple
> > of years. We're now farther away from 2001 than Arthur C. Clarke
> > and Stanley Kubrick was in 1968.
> well, i wouldn't be as worried about it now as i would have in 1986
> with the challenger disaster, for a couple reasons:
> - the american public is more accepting of this tragedy and willing
>   to move on
> - we have a couple astronauts in a space station who will need food
>   sometime in june at the very latest

As much of a fan of "space" science fiction that I am, the pragmatist
in me must wonder if space planes will ever become practical until
some new, relatively compact and light-weight, thrust generating energy
source is invented.

Also, the *incredible* re-enrty speeds and friction will have to some-
how be ameliorated.  (We're all impressed when the SR-71 travels at
Mach 3 at 26,000 meters, and it's titanium body expands so much to seal
the fuel tanks, but Columbia was traveling at Mach 17 and the nose of
the craft was so hot that it turned the atmosphere into plasma!)

And it goes w/o saying that artificial gravity (that can be powered by
the same enery source that propells the ship) will have to be invented
so that man's skeletal system won't fall apart during prolonged space
travel.  (Also, imagine how huch easier it would make eating, sleeping,
shaving, deficating, etc...)

| Ron Johnson, Jr.        mailto:ron.l.johnson@cox.net          |
| Jefferson, LA  USA      http://members.cox.net/ron.l.johnson  |
|                                                               |
| "Fear the Penguin!!"                                          |

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