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Save the American Space Program?!


RexMundi
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Re: Save the American Space Program?!

 

If the laws said that' date=' you might have a point. They don't. Here they are. It is specifically noted that non-state actors (ie: private enterprise) are permitted to indulge in space commerce if they feel so inclined. All this "it ain't happening because of the space haters" is a fantasy. It ain't happening, because no-one has figured out how to make money. The suggestions posted here - "Let's spend a half billion to a billion dollars to collect 200 thousand dollars of space trash" are a perfect example of why nothing is happening. Companies are perfectly happy to spend hundreds of millions putting satellites up - because they have worked out to make money off that. If they could work out a way to make money off the moon, they'd be all over it.

 

I'm hoping NASA - and the other space agencies - can carry space exploration forward until we reach the point where they do find ways to make money outside LEO.

 

cheers, Mark

 

Article 11 of the Moon Treaty (Not signed btw by anyone that could actually get there as the Moon Treaty Sucks) goes along the lines of "require an international consortium to monitor and hold accountable actions with potential consequence towards any other State". NO BUSINESS, can function, under what's effectively the UN, dogging every action and telling them what they can and can not do, with their work. Pretty sure The Space Review http://www.thespacereview.com/article/381/1 covers the other issue that will prevent any business from doing any work in space. That part about having to give the people that don't contribute, a share, out of fairness. Hell with that. Down with Space Haters and People looking for handouts.

 

~Rex

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Re: Save the American Space Program?!

 

Rex' date=' you do know that the Wrights built aircraft to make money, right? And they did?[/quote']

 

At what point did I say, The Wrights didn't build an Aircraft to make money? They got a good chunk at the onset. $25,000 + $ 5,000 for the fact it fly more then 40mph. After that, 90% of the income was from exhibition flying, and even then that was "Do more Daredevil Stuff!!!!" so they both starting losing interest. Then there was the Smithsonian issues, and the legal fights between who flew powered first them or Langley. Wilbur ends up dying of Stress and Typhoid, and Orville sells off all his rights just before the patent expiration's and goes back to inventing to get as far away from aircraft as possible do to what it ended up doing to his brother. Until the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line no one thought you could make a REAL business out of that whole flying thing. Really up until that point it was all exhibition "Ooooo!! AhhHHHHHhhhH!!!" stuff, racing, and Military.

 

Kinda the same for Space stuff really right now. We went to the Moon, because it was a Race. Folks bring up the Money all the time and the business making money will get them to go up there. Aircraft, was in the exact same position back in it's same effective point in history, and it's turned out, to be something the opposite of what all the naysayers were preaching, for the same reasons really.

 

 

~Rex

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Re: Save the American Space Program?!

 

Dude, if that's all you've got as evidence of "space-haters", then you got nothin'. The Moon treaty, as you note, has been signed by almost nobody (not even the Soviet Union, who sponsored it) in the 30 years it has existed. It doesn't look like it's going to be ratified anytime soon by any more countries either. Since there is no enforcement mechanism for UN treaties and never has been (they re all consensual, meaning they only have any legal weight in the countries that sign and ratify them) any company not based in the 10 countries that have ratified it can safely ignore it. As a bar to commercial exploitation of space, it's a total non-starter.

 

As for the space treaty itself - which is law in many countries including anyone with pretensions to a space program - it's modelled very closely on the international law of the sea. Again, here it is - read it. Article IV specifically states that a company operating in space is subject to it's own nation's laws - so a US company is both subject to and protected by, US law. Yes, you can't annexe the Moon or Mars by simply going there and saying "It's mine!" You can't annexe international waters, either, but that doesn't stop companies operating there, exploiting resources and making money.

 

The bit about "freeloaders" and having to give stuff away is just fantasy: if you'd read the actual treaty, you'd notice that there is no such language in it.

 

It comes back to the main point - right now businesses are uninterested in space not because of some mythical "space haters" but for the very real reason that they can't work out how to make money off it. And let's face it - we're all space exploration fans here and we can't figure out any way to make money off it yet, either.

 

cheers, Mark

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Re: Save the American Space Program?!

 

Excising this part from my own link, because obviously, I'm so retarded as to have never read anything anywhere, or have done anything anywhere, or have worked anywhere, on anything, that the only possible reply to any speaking point brought up in a game forum, is some sort of directed assault. So therefore, once I manage the basics of oh, breathing, I'll try and explain myself better. This is after all, not a court of inquiry. I just want my space program back from the Haters that Wrecked it out of a sense of political and personal agenda.

 

From the last link which is a more in English sort of explanation, I bring up something that's along my interpretation and represents my issues.

 

"It is worth mentioning that at the time of the ratification of the Moon Treaty, the signatories did not have an equal or greater space capability than the United States, the Russian Federation (formerly the USSR) , or the People’s Republic of China, none of whom have ratified the Moon Treaty. In essence it was designed to extend the reach of res communis so that private individuals or entities could not take advantage of the Outer Space Treaty’s shortcomings and start a wave of staking claims to extraterrestrial real estate. However, this presents a major roadblock to the commercialization and exploitation of extraterrestrial resources given that, in order to acquire those resources, a property interest, whether a license or actual ownership, in an extraterrestrial body would need to be acquired.

 

Interestingly, the Moon Treaty does not forbid mineral exploitation, but rather forbids staking claims on extraterrestrial property while allowing the exploitation under the oversight of an international body. Furthermore, the Moon Treaty requires that the means to acquire extraterrestrial mineral wealth be given to countries that cannot develop it on their own. It’s no wonder that private enterprise is loath to invest in technologies to exploit space with these conditions hanging over their heads."

 

In short. Go ahead, do it, but it won't be yours, and you have to give it to everyone else that feels it's not fair.

 

Now that aside, on the "Private Side of the deal", this kind of direction is a pretty interesting direction. http://www.xprize.org/blogs/jean-levasseur/success-using-economic-engines-to-open-the-space-frontier

 

Now, that's got some possibilities. Even if it has the same root, as what got us to the moon in the first place. Capture the Hearts, and the Minds, and then things will happen. There's should be no reason what so ever that you shouldn't be able, to land on the Moon, plant a Flag, and go, MINE!.....That sort of thing is one of the major fuels of Any sort of Exploration. To end quote......and if folks want to point fingers and demand guys like this source haven't read anything or done something, feel free :

 

"To put the arguments for a return to the Moon, and a lunar outpost, in the most general terms: the Moon is essentially a whole planet, one that has so far been barely touched. But this new planet is only a few days travel away and we have already camped on it. To turn our backs on the Moon would be equivalent to European exploration stopping after Columbus’s few landings, or China’s destruction of its giant ships to concentrate on domestic problems in the 15th century." ~Paul D. Lowman Jr. 14 January 2008

 

~Rex....Space Taker......space haters can sit over on the Group W bench......

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Re: Save the American Space Program?!

 

A treaty the US has not signed, and neither has anyone else who can actually get to the Moon, might as well not exist. It's a distraction and nothing more. Moot court fodder at best. When someone establishes something that looks like property up there (and can and does defend it), then legal precedent will get set via the "possession is 9/10ths" sort of mechanic.

 

Before the US unilaterally withdrew from the ABM treaty, one of the unspoken rationales for a couple of space missions ... Clementine in particular, which was a "Brilliant Pebble" ... was to develop tech that you wanted for antimissile/antispace reasons, but said development was prohibited by treaty. You couldn't fly an unmanned mission which was to rendezvous with an uncooperative unmanned target spacecraft, even one of your own. You could, however, fly scientific missions which did more or less the same thing, approaching unmanned uncooperative targets of natural origin, ostensibly for scientific research reasons. Since the US no longer considers themselves bound by that treaty, that rationale is no longer especially relevant.

 

FWIW, the US's abrogation of a treaty they signed ought to tell you something about how likely the US is to comply with an inconvenient treaty they haven't signed. Worrying about this is ado about nothing.

 

I am perfectly willing to believe that if there was something worth fighting for up there, and it was technically possible to get it, escort it home, and attack to intercept it, there'll be militarization of space. The demilitarization of space impulse has been motivated by the potential for orbital bombardment platforms and ABM systems, an attempt to avoid the beggar-thy-neighbor spending contests that were a big part of the causes of World War 1. Once there's enough clear profit in an extended operation in space or attached to another planet/moon/minor planet, then there'll be armed defenses for it as soon as armed threats are apparent. Commercial interests are very good at persuading national governments to see things to their advantage.

 

The Kaiser said it most succinctly: "Morality is all right, but what about dividends?"

 

Frankly, I don't have much problem with having armed spacecraft to defend interests in space, as long as there's clear need for such to exist (and that includes clear demonstration not only of a threat, but also that defenses can be both effective and worth the cost). But there's a lot of conditions that have to be fulfilled before any such scenario comes about, and that fulfillment is a long way off.

 

If I had to pick an object in space that might be worth money strictly for mineral-rights reasons, it might be the parent body/bodies of the Pallasites, since those have a bunch of high-grade metal concentrated in them and a minimum of smelting/refining would be needed. Those bodies have not been identified, though. Still, if you need bulk metal in space, that may be a more economical source for it than hauling it up out of Earth's gravity well.

 

The problem is ... what do you need large amounts of bulk metal for? That there is no immediate answer for that on the level of a stock prospectus identifies the real problem.

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Re: Save the American Space Program?!

 

Excising this part from my own link' date=' because obviously, I'm so retarded as to have never read anything anywhere, or have done anything anywhere, or have worked anywhere, on anything, that the only possible reply to any speaking point brought up in a game forum, is some sort of directed assault. So therefore, once I manage the basics of oh, breathing, I'll try and explain myself better. This is after all, not a court of inquiry. I just want my space program back from the Haters that Wrecked it out of a sense of political and personal agenda.[/quote']

 

Dude, those "haters" only exist in your head. They're the fairies in the bottom of your garden. They don't actually exist. Which is why you can't really find any evidence of their activities, or identify any of them.

 

From the last link which is a more in English sort of explanation, I bring up something that's along my interpretation and represents my issues.

 

"It is worth mentioning that at the time of the ratification of the Moon Treaty, the signatories did not have an equal or greater space capability than the United States, the Russian Federation (formerly the USSR) , or the People’s Republic of China, none of whom have ratified the Moon Treaty. In essence it was designed to extend the reach of res communis so that private individuals or entities could not take advantage of the Outer Space Treaty’s shortcomings and start a wave of staking claims to extraterrestrial real estate. However, this presents a major roadblock to the commercialization and exploitation of extraterrestrial resources given that, in order to acquire those resources, a property interest, whether a license or actual ownership, in an extraterrestrial body would need to be acquired.

 

Interestingly, the Moon Treaty does not forbid mineral exploitation, but rather forbids staking claims on extraterrestrial property while allowing the exploitation under the oversight of an international body. Furthermore, the Moon Treaty requires that the means to acquire extraterrestrial mineral wealth be given to countries that cannot develop it on their own. It’s no wonder that private enterprise is loath to invest in technologies to exploit space with these conditions hanging over their heads."

 

In short. Go ahead, do it, but it won't be yours, and you have to give it to everyone else that feels it's not fair.

 

You keep coming back to the moon treaty ... which as pointed out already, is a failed suggestion from 30 years ago .... that isn't law and never will be. If that's the sum of your argument, you don't have an argument. It sure hasn't had any effect on space exploration. As for signatories to the actual space treaty, you have it 100% bass-ackwards. If you had read the actual damned space treaty that I keep linking to - you would have noticed that the first three signatories were in fact the US, the UK and the USSR - the only three countries which at that date had developed independent space programs. So if they were the only guys who could, why did they do it?

 

They did it to protect access and use of space. The law of space - the actual law of space, not the fantasy version you refer to above - does prevent companies (or countries) simply annexing chunks of space. That's a good thing - the Soviets were the first into LEO, and I'm damned if I wanted them to be able to claim it as their own private space. The reasoning for this is not to prevent commercial exploitation of space, but ensure access for it. The law of space was modelled very closely on the law of the sea precisely to ensure access for as many parties as possible. If you think the law of the sea - which also forbids annexation - has prevented commerce on the seas ... then I suggest you actually look at the reality. The law of the sea is regarded as a great success precisely because it has promoted and protected commercial usage of the seas. It's why the US first suggested it as a model. It's why today, a company can put a satellite up without having to ask permission: because space doesn't belong to anybody. But the satellite still belongs to the people who put it up there and so does all the profit made off it. If the satellite crashes onto something valuable, the liability belongs to them too - meaning everybody's rights are protected.

 

Here's what the space settlement initiative (the people who are lobbying the US government to create laws defining private ownership in outer space) has to say "The ratification failure of the Moon Treaty means there is no legal prohibition in force against private ownership of land on the Moon, Mars, etc., as long as the ownership is not derived from a claim of national appropriation or sovereignty". In other words, if a company wants to exploit a resource on the moon, right now, they can go and do it and there is nothing stopping them. Their rights will be protected by their own countries' laws and even further protected by the space treaty which enjoins all signatories to respect ownership of launched items. The only thing they can't do is prevent other companies from following their lead - and that's a good thing as far as I am concerned. We want more people involved!

 

Now that aside' date=' on the "Private Side of the deal", this kind of direction is a pretty interesting direction. http://www.xprize.org/blogs/jean-levasseur/success-using-economic-engines-to-open-the-space-frontier

 

Now, that's got some possibilities. Even if it has the same root, as what got us to the moon in the first place. Capture the Hearts, and the Minds, and then things will happen. There's should be no reason what so ever that you shouldn't be able, to land on the Moon, plant a Flag, and go, MINE!.....That sort of thing is one of the major fuels of Any sort of Exploration. To end quote......and if folks want to point fingers and demand guys like this source haven't read anything or done something, feel free :

 

"To put the arguments for a return to the Moon, and a lunar outpost, in the most general terms: the Moon is essentially a whole planet, one that has so far been barely touched. But this new planet is only a few days travel away and we have already camped on it. To turn our backs on the Moon would be equivalent to European exploration stopping after Columbus’s few landings, or China’s destruction of its giant ships to concentrate on domestic problems in the 15th century." ~Paul D. Lowman Jr. 14 January 2008

 

~Rex....Space Taker......space haters can sit over on the Group W bench......

 

One thing that we can agree on is that groups like the X-foundation are a great idea. Anything that promotes the development of space technology is a good thing IMO.

 

cheers,Mark

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Re: Save the American Space Program?!

 

Folks keep bringing up, Laws we never signed. The U.S. gets shafted by things we have never signed nor agreed to, all the freaking time, because the rest of the world likes to point at us and give us the Pod people *SQUEEEE!!!!* One of the reasons I come back to the Moon, is that once we get onto the MOON. Then we can start getting other places, using things that the Haters won't let us use here on the Big Blue Dirt Ball (Got to get the Project Orion Dig in real quick before the torches and pitchforks come out). There was never an immediate answer for any other type of exploration that came before this either, there was never an immediate proof of "This will make Money" until people started doing it.

 

And I want to get there first, with a big American Flag (or A Brit or German Flag, I'm not greedy) planted in the Dirt of whatever we get to, before the people that won't share, get there. So instead of replies laced with personal directives, Bold Faced forum trope replies and what not, how about some actual Ideas, beyond dog fighting with the people that are actually trying to come up with some ideas? People in the know, understand the stuff that IS, and IS not on the books law wise. Perception though is a completely different thing, and then everything that could happen ends up getting bogged down in minutia because 34 little countries all demand their "fair share" when they are still trying to figure out how to get a light bulb to work in their mud hut. Companies, base their future movements upon perception of the future and market forces. Market Forces fluctuate based on what people think, is going to happen.

 

You get a loud enough group of people, that run to something obscure to bolster their point, gather up with others that insist on supporting people because they "need help" (White Knighters....plenty of them in the forums), and the people that could do the job, aren't going to do it, because they don't want to deal with the additional hassle and expense that will be generated by those loud folks with their hands out for their piece of something they didn't do any of the work to get.

Almost like the Petroleum Industry, where the gas companies get Crucified, because they finally made 5 cents on the dollar (Impaled by their own government bodies no less whom profited even MORE then the gas companies, on the gas companies work, and the impaling is done, because of the loud *SQUEEE* coming from the ignorant masses that think they should get "their fair share" of that 5 cents on the dollar, but they contribute nothing to the companies work?). The companies of the world have learned long and hard the realities of perception and loud noises made by small groups of people.

 

Move that into Space, it's no wonder why the folks that could do it, don't want to do it. Yet anyway. Stuff like the rocket plane league and what not, a good sign. The bad sign though is that even though that crappy bit of attempted un-ratified space gibberish is just that, gibberish, it's enough gibberish, to cause problems, if people want to make a problem with it. If you could get people to put, 1/10th of the effort into just doing it, as they put into gigantic dismissals of the subject, then capturing the hearts and minds of the masses would be a no brainer. Just like it was before.

 

And I do feel bad for the Brits having to rely on the ESA, heh. Everything that made NASA bad, snowballed into maximum ineffectualness.

 

~Rex....who again reminds folks, he didn't write the linked stuff, he just found it somewhat interesting, so if there is an issue, point the slings and arrows THAT way. Like Mr. Merrick said, "I am not an Animal!"

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Re: Save the American Space Program?!

 

Yeah see my issue with the World Flag for this is that the majority of the World, isn't qualified to have a say. Some of the other countries have some interesting ideas for Space Travel though so I wouldn't want to leave them or the corporations out of the loop, as for making it Run and Run efficiently, you only really have two folks that can do it, and then, Only from their Military end. Which is fine once you set the ground rules. Working together for it though is a major pain in the but. The various space programs can't even agree what's the right pressure to use for vehicles and stations, Some will take excessive risks, others, won't hedge a bet against anything. Some want, brand new stuff, others want, Off the shelf, tried and true if it breaks we know we can cobble something together out of the other parts to make it work.

 

Money is fairly universal and is a good motivator but Politics though and bureaucratic bodies, get progressively more inefficient the larger it gets and that's because of the simple thing of Too many Cooks....so a World flag, blech. Only thing that's going to generate that is when the Martians fire up their little Phobos Mars Station and shoot something at us.

 

~Rex

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Re: Save the American Space Program?!

 

I think we need a world flag for situations like this. (And I'm not talking about the Dis-United Nations)

 

Why? I seriously don't see any reason for a world flag. Without a world government, it means pretty much nothing, and santa's gonna bring me a unicorn before we get anything approaching world government.

 

cheers, Mark

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Re: Save the American Space Program?!

 

Excising this part from my own link, because obviously, I'm so retarded as to have never read anything anywhere, or have done anything anywhere, or have worked anywhere, on anything, that the only possible reply to any speaking point brought up in a game forum, is some sort of directed assault. So therefore, once I manage the basics of oh, breathing, I'll try and explain myself better. This is after all, not a court of inquiry. I just want my space program back from the Haters that Wrecked it out of a sense of political and personal agenda.

 

Are Space Haters a subspecies of Damn Hippies?

 

 

Seriously, though, you're talking about a "treaty" that was never more than a proposal never signed by anyone who mattered, attacks on your person that aren't happening, and Space Haters and Damn Hippies that are largely imaginary. There are so many strawmen in your posts that it's a fire hazard.

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