Meme War

“It’s OK to be white….left on the internet to be found and taken down the rabbit hole with.”

“The thing about any kind of conspiracy theory, or an idea, or any of these things is, they work, they go viral, when they play on something that feels true. Right? You don’t get conspiracy theories that don’t resonate in some way with some kind of part of someone’s experience…. what happens is, when it resonates online, then, if the resonance gets strong enough, they’ll go into the real world and do something. -And this is where…in order for it to…lead to something like January 6th, you need, in real life, there to be some kind of spectacle, or violence.”

The air we breathe should be free of course. Enough clean water to drink and for minimum sanitary needs should be guaranteed. A certain area of land that is free for anyone to walk on and pedestrian paths connecting the world should be a basic feature of human existence. The key to not freezing to death in northern latitudes and not dying of heat stroke in equatorial climes is energy. Electricity provides heat and light in the winter and air conditioning and food preservation in summer temperatures. Growing food everywhere possible and converting all biological and material waste into benign compounds that can go back into the environment is a prerequisite. People have to understand these things are just the bare essentials for humankind to survive. Climate change remediation, a basic living stipend, rent control, and free education and universal medical care are what follow. These things make up the only civilization that will not self-destruct.

If the million or so hard-core right-wingers think they can get away with it they are going to start murdering people in the tens of thousands and then the tens of millions if they win the initial battles. They want an all-white planet. It is as simple as that. Who started this?

“Twitter is a cauldron of elites, in a lot of ways…Elon Musk represents a kind of technocrat…and there is a growing number of folks who have this idea that, as technologists, they know more than other people. -I can tell you a lot of people in Silicon Valley have this sense that, hey, we are the ones that made this world the way it is and we know how it works and the government is broken, and the system is broken and this is a techno-monarchist mindset that is insurgent in certain very powerful circles.”

These neoliberal technocrats are not new. The super-rich have just repackaged themselves.

My comments on YouTube:

For me, personally, the most heinous example of the influence of technocrats was Elon Musk, some years ago, calling Space Solar Power “the stupidest idea ever.” This was because beaming solar power down from space to cure climate change is a project that is so immense it can only be undertaken by governments and is thus unattractive to “entrepreneurs” who cannot own it all. His plan to take over the internet with his own 40,000 pieces of space junk was the goal. Very sad in that space solar power is likely the only guaranteed solution to climate change IMO.

16:30 I have commented on popular space forums for years and finally gave up after being repeatedly banned from forums for simply criticizing spacex and “rocket jesus” as he has been called. The fanboys dogpile anyone not in the Musk cult relentlessly and hound them into silence, or, failing this, they email campaign moderators to ban critics. These Ayn-Rand-in-space toxic trolls, many of them also Trumpists, have essentially hijacked all the forums discussing space exploration.

Behind the GOP gaslighting over Pelosi attack: They know it won’t happen to them

Heather Digby Parton

The Republican base is highly motivated by the Big Lie and its ongoing hatred for what they perceive as the forces that are destroying American culture — immigrants, Black people, “cosmopolitan” city dwellers (often meaning Jewish people), feminists, liberals (aka “communists”), LGBTQ people and so on. The proliferation of crazy conspiracy theories feeds this hate and leads to the kind of violent attack that severely injured Paul Pelosi on Friday, as well as the ongoing threats against Democrats and civil servants. Republican officials, by and large, cannot quite bring themselves to condemn this. If anything, they wink and nod and suggest that it’s all part of the game: Democrats deserve this at least a little, they are prepared to win by any means necessary and, anyway, both sides do it too. No, not really. In fact, not at all. And on the vanishingly rare occasions when that may happen. Democrats step up and strongly condemn any such actions.

I do not see a clear message being sent containing the truth about America: Everything comes down to the rich evading taxes and regulation. The right-wing has spent, literally, billions over the last century to brainwash the public into voting for policies allowing the super-rich to become wealthier than they have ever been in the history of humankind. Absolute greed has made money the demon-god of this world and American democracy soon to end. Unless the neoliberal agenda is stopped, and reversed, less than one percent of the population will soon own everything. The 99 percent will be reduced to living in relative squalor as wage slaves.

Progressive taxation, financial and environmental regulation, and social safety nets, to include universal medical care and free public education, are the minimum requirements if America is to survive. We the people must decide if Democracy is the strong eating the weak or the greatest good for the greatest number. It is a choice that can only be made by way of the truth. Trust that a society is providing the truth and not lies to its members is the only ground on which any good thing can stand. Without this trust, without the truth, a society will inevitably descend into chaos and self-destruction. Those wishing for the “freedom” to become ultimately powerful first seek to destroy the truth and divide and conquer with lies those who would keep them from preying on others. And that, is the truth.

23 Dollars per Hour in 2022?

Minimum wage should be considered a “first job wage” for teenagers working part-time over the summer break. If wages had kept pace with productivity instead of flatlining during the Reagan Revolution the minimum wage would be 23 dollars an hour. That would be what teenagers working over the summer would get.

The best places to live on planet Earth, by almost every measure, are those with the “Nordic Model” as their way of life.

We are failing. By every measure. Capitalist Scott Galloway says we can fix it all. Can we? Stupidity killed the dinosaurs, and it looks very likely that greed will end our species.

Discordant Knowing

A new series of nine experimental studies indicates that “discordant knowing”, certainty about something one perceives as opposed by the majority of others, predicts greater fanaticism. The studies showed that experimental manipulation of participants’ views, i.e. putting them in a situation where they are set to see their views as being in opposition to the majority, increased behavioral indicators of fanaticism, such as aggression, determined ignorance and wanting to join extreme groups in service of one’s view. The study was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Dogmatic beliefs, fanaticism and similar phenomena have been attracting interest of social psychologists for a long time. Tendencies of some people to maintain their beliefs in opposition to the views of the majority of people in their environment has been linked to these phenomena. Some studies proposed that people adopt such isolating behavior in an effort to satiate desires for certainty, control and uniqueness.

One concept proposed to explain this is “discordant knowing”. It consists of “felt knowledge” – being sure about an opinion or viewpoint – and “opposition” – perceiving one’s claim as being generally opposed by other people. While previous studies have focused very much on “felt knowledge”, a concept associated with dogmatism, rigidity, overclaiming and similar traits, psychological processes linked to holding minority viewpoints have not attracted much research attention.

To study discordant knowing, study author Anton Gollwitzer and his colleagues designed a series of nine social experiments. They recruited a total of 3277 people through Mechanical Turk [MTurk] and Prolific platforms as participants in these experiments. The first six experiments included 450-700 participants each, while the numbers in the last three were lower.

In the first five experiments, participants were randomly divided into a number of groups each of which was assigned a different experimental condition. In some of the experiments, researchers would ask participants about some of their beliefs and then, depending on the condition, asked them to imagine being in situations that regarded their views in a certain way. Participants were thereafter asked again to express the degree of endorsement of beliefs in question.

Experiments 6-9 included testing the generalizability of detected psychological mechanisms to beliefs about presidential candidates from the 2020 US elections, attitudes towards abortion, antivaccination beliefs, and on a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses, whom authors included in the study as “members of a fanatical religious group” and thus a group holding “their religious claims in a discordant knowing framework” as compared with non-fanatical religious individuals.

Results obtained across these multifaceted experiments supported the authors’ hypothesis that discordant knowing underlies fanaticism. Experimental manipulation of participants views to fall under the discordant knowing framework heightened all aspects of fanaticism. They found that: this effect is based on mechanisms for responding to threats; it depends on the strength of opposition to one’s views; it differs from effects of extremism and extends to the way one sees oneself.

This series of studies highlights new ways in which fanaticism can be studied. However, authors note that many details about these psychological mechanisms remain unknown and should be explored in future studies. Notably, it remains unclear “whether the observed effects are temporally stable” i.e., “does inducing discordant knowing heighten fanaticism only temporarily or over a longer time-period”.

The study, “Discordant Knowing: A Social Cognitive Structure Underlying Fanaticism”, was authored by Anton Gollwitzer, Irmak Olcaysoy Okten, Angel Osorio Pizzaro, and Gabriele Oettingen.

Email to NASA

Nasa emailed asking for more input and a link to register for their “Moon to Mars” town hall. I responded with this.

I provide input and now I am being solicited to do the same for “Moon to Mars.” Except…I don’t want America wasting money on going to Mars. My position on Ceres being the place we will land humans on while Mars is bypassed goes like this: 

1. The raison d’etre for human space flight is space colonization as envisioned by Gerard K. O’Neill, which ruled out human colonies on any natural bodies due to the requirement for one Earth gravity as necessary for humans to thrive. Artificial gravity is of course possible using centrifuge type constructs on natural bodies but true colonies with large populations are not practical except with miles-in-diameter artificial hollow spinning moons. Planetary defense can be argued to be equally important and being part of colonization. Human exploration Beyond Earth and Lunar Orbit (BELO) can take place using craft designed for carrying nuclear weapons to deflect impact threats. 

2. Human exploration of the solar system is possible and desirable but will require a Near Sea Level Radiation One Gravity environment. These NSLR1G crew compartments will have cosmic radiation shields likely containing over one thousand tons of water even for a small crew on an interplanetary mission. Spinning this compartment with a near mile long tether system with an equal mass on the other end will likely come about by way of “Fat Workshop” double-hulled upper stage wet workshops. The water shielding would be brought up from the Moon using approximately 20 times less energy than from Earth. 

3. Such a “true” Spaceship, with artificial gravity and massive shielding, will not be propelled by chemicals but must necessarily use nuclear energy. Pulse propulsion using bombs is presently the only practical system, but recent technological advances make some form of nuclear electric propulsion a possibility. An interplanetary exploration mission would probably number several such Spaceships traveling together in case of emergencies. Such a fleet of Spaceships is likely several decades away. Once this fleet is available then the question becomes whether to send them to Mars or to bodies with oceans that might have life and can be explored with submarines. Since the icy bodies with oceans are all low gravity and far easier land on then Mars, Ceres becomes the logical first destination. Not Mars. 

Thank you for your time. 

Gary Church

Policy of Truth

You had something to hide
Should have hidden it, shouldn’t you?
Now you’re not satisfied
With what you’re being put through

It’s just time to pay the price
For not listening to advice
And deciding in your youth
On the policy of truth

Things could be so different now
It used to be so civilized
You will always wonder how
It could have been if you’d only lied

It’s too late to change events
It’s time to face the consequence
For delivering the proof
In the policy of truth

Never again
Is what you swore
The time before

Never again
Is what you swore
The time before

Now you’re standing there tongue tied
You better learn your lesson well
Hide what you have to hide
And tell what you have to tell

You’ll see your problems multiplied
If you continually decide
To faithfully pursue
The policy of truth

Never again
Is what you swore
The time before

Never again
Is what you swore
The time before

Never again
Is what you swore
The time before

Never again
Is what you swore
The time before

Never again
Is what you swore
The time before

When Black people were slaves, white people were free. When Black people were free, white people were slaves. Slavery wasn’t just the basis of the plantation economy. It was the basis of democracy for the well-mannered overlords of elite southern society. For them, without slavery – without suffering – civilization would collapse.

Among the many obvious problems with this way of thinking is something less obvious. If you believe that what’s bad for Black people is good for white people, what do you have when they, through means internal and external, achieve their freedom?

The answer is nothing.

There’s no there there. There’s no moral constitution that can go on in the absence of a social and political order built on Black bodies. Yes, not just slavery. Black bodies stacked up over centuries – were the foundation. Take them away? Civilization really does collapse.

Now apply this binary mode of thinking to a subject much in vogue these days thanks to redhat propagandists like Tucker Carlson. Of course, the subject I’m talking about is “The End of Men” or, as David Brooks put it more mildly, the “Crisis of Men and Boys.”

At the root of this subject is an assumption that, if given a hard look, would be seen as gonzo nuts. Anyone with eyes that can see – or senses that can sense – can discern that men, especially white men, are doing fine. To be sure, problems remain, societally and individually. But relative to others, white men are still on top.

Here’s an example: I’m 48, white, tall, bald. (Not bad looking.) When I go to pick up my daughter from school, where she’s in the racial minority, nonwhite parents, especially mothers, see me coming and hustle themselves and their kids out of the way, even apologizing as if they’ve done something wrong by standing still in public. This … just happens. It’s not natural, though. It’s a culture white men created.

That culture is complicated, but I think it boils down to this: white men deserve whatever they desire – money, sex, power, whatever.

This is somewhat scandalous to talk about openly, so we invented all sorts of ways of pretending that white men work as hard as other people do; that we aren’t the center of a political culture built for us centuries ago; and that we don’t accept at birth a rich inheritance.

Of course, we do.

The question is whether we want to know that we do.

Because if white men don’t know, what happens when they don’t get their heart’s desire? Some men turn inward to religion. Some to politics. But others don’t have what it takes to reconcile themselves to the consequences of democratic politics. So they reach for a gun.

Still, others discover ways to profit from telling these white men that democratic politics has cheated them of their birthright – that when women gain a fraction of an inch of political power, it’s castration; that when Black people succeed, in business or sports or politics, that’s a sign of societal disease and rot. It wasn’t this way back in the day. Something’s gone terribly wrong. We gotta do something.

To be sure, propagandists like Carlson influence these men in various and sundry ways, but propaganda doesn’t work unless there’s already a kernel of truth to build on. In this case, there are two kernels.

One, as I said, is a political culture telling white men that they deserve everything. But the other is perhaps more important: an understanding, though likely unconscious, that if white men do not dominate – that if women and nonwhite people have equal political power as a consequence of democratic politics – what do they have?


They don’t have moral cores that exist independently of the lives and fortunes of their supposed inferiors, because the political culture permits them to grow up without bothering to develop moral cores. What do they have when women are strong and independent?

Due to either-or thinking, nothing.

Worse, they are nothing. Zeroes, ciphers, blanks.

That’s so terrifying, you’ll believe anything.

The reaction among Democrats and liberals, to things like the funny recommendation for men to beam red light onto their genitals, is by now conventional. We say that this wouldn’t happen if these men weren’t so sexist, so racist, so something-ist. If they only sought to be as “enlightened” as we are, this farce would be self-evident.

What some Democrats and liberals – especially Twitter hard*sses – don’t account for is that this reaction feeds into the either-or thinking that seeded a political culture at the root of the problem.

We keep telling them to not be something. But not being something terrifies them. The more we say don’t be X, the more they double down on being X. We see the former as the solution. They see the former as the problem. Either-or thinking becomes a vicious cycle.

Instead of telling them not to be something, we should tell them to be something. In other words, we should admonish them to develop a moral core – a rich inner life – that can exist independently without being conditioned on democratic politics. Instead of sharing power being seen as losing power, it would simply be seen as sharing it.

Developing such a thing is a heavy lift, though.

Living in your inheritance takes less effort.

Over the past several decades comic books have gradually evolved from a niche hobby into the most valuable intellectual property in Hollywood. One person who has been around the industry during every step of that evolution is Alan Moore, who wrote landmark comics like “Watchmen,” “V for Vendetta,” and “Batman: The Killing Joke.”

While Moore was an essential figure in the artistic legitimization of comic books, that doesn’t mean he’s thrilled to see what the industry has turned into. In a new interview with The Guardian, Moore expressed his concerns about our culture’s newfound obsession with superheroes.

“I said round about 2011 that I thought that it had serious and worrying implications for the future if millions of adults were queueing up to see ‘Batman’ movies,” Moore said. “Because that kind of infantilization – that urge towards simpler times, simpler realities – that can very often be a precursor to fascism.”

He continued: “Hundreds of thousands of adults lining up to see characters and situations that had been created to entertain the 12-year-old boys—and it was always boys—of 50 years ago. I didn’t really think that superheroes were adult fare. I think that this was a misunderstanding born of what happened in the 1980s—to which I must put my hand up to a considerable share of the blame, though it was not intentional—when things like ‘Watchmen’ were first appearing. There were an awful lot of headlines saying ‘Comics Have Grown Up’.”

Moore gets plenty of credit for turning comic books into an art form adults, but he’s not sure that’s what they actually are.

“I tend to think that, no, comics hadn’t grown up,” he said. “There were a few titles that were more adult than people were used to. But the majority of comics titles were pretty much the same as they’d ever been. It wasn’t comics growing up. I think it was more comics meeting the emotional age of the audience coming the other way.”

While Moore is proud of the work that he’s done in comic books, his distaste for everything that surrounds them prompted him to move on to other kinds of writing.

“I will always love and adore the comics medium but the comics industry and all of the stuff attached to it just became unbearable.”

Comments on Matt Williams Artificial Gravity Story

A Near Sea Level Radiation One Gravity (NSLR1G) environment is the prerequisite for Human Space Flight Beyond Earth Orbit (HSF-BEO). A massive cosmic ray water shield (CRWS) and Tether Generated Artificial Gravity (TGAG) system are the only practical ways to provide this.

The keys to providing NSLR1G crew compartments are double-hulled “Fat Workshops” lofted as the upper stages of Super Heavy Lift Vehicles (SHLV’s) and the ice at the lunar poles, which can be lifted into space as cosmic ray water shielding using 20 times less energy than from Earth.

The salient feature of HSF-BEO is “The Parker Minimum” of 500 tons of water shielding for a small capsule as specified by Eugene Parker. This is generally rejected as impractical but, in reality, is the single determining factor.

Nothing stops the heavy nuclei component of galactic cosmic radiation except mass and distance. The 2006 Scientific American article “Shielding Space Travelers” by Eugene Parker remains the classic popular guide on this subject and no technological miracle is likely to change the conclusions made by Parker. “Reflecting cosmic radiation” with “a strong ion field” is pure fantasy.

The particular terminology and acronyms I have used over the years have changed a little, but they are a fairly consistent lexicon of my particular view on the future of space exploration.

Waiting For Friday SLS Launch

Better not to do a spacex and blow it up. A ULA perfect record is preferred.

The question is what will future iterations look like? The desired design philosophy, in my view, is that of the original Shuttle which the boosters and engines come from, which is a Saturn V class launch vehicle that expends one tank on the altar of the rocket equation and reuses everything else. The Shuttle accomplished this in the most inefficient, expensive, and risky way possible- in the interest of going cheap. We see the SLS as what the Shuttle might have been, except now they have thrown the baby out with the bathwater and made it all expendable, as well as even more expensive. Why did this happen? Not, as the spacex fanboys scream, due to satan-as-cost-plus. It was due to political uncertainty and lack of funding. Without a long-range commitment, a plan, and funding, the cost over-runs were a certainty. What is the solution?
NOT the shiny. That thing is intended to make a certain entrepreneur the owner of cyberspace, not “expand the light of consciousness into the universe.” They are not Moon people.

In my view liquid landback boosters to replace the SRB’s (two New Glenn first stages would seem to be what is needed) and recoverable pod for the RS-25’s (studied long ago) are the correct path. Reusing the escape tower and capsule, the boosters and core engines, and expending the core tank, leaves what is between the core and the capsule to be decided.

Increasing launch cadence to four to six launches a year would enable a permanent human presence in cislunar space and bring costs down. The how and where of that presence also yet to be decided. My recommendation would be to first bring water up from the lunar poles robotically for cosmic ray shielding in “Fat Workshops” and then send people.

Hydrogen is tricky stuff. von Braun really did not like it but was finally convinced it was how to get to the Moon. The only reason it happened was a top secret failed reconnaissance aircraft called “Suntan.” The hydrogen was available in quantity because they had already built the plants to supply the airplane that was finally cancelled as impractical. Air refueling became a requirement and….you can’t air refuel liquid hydrogen.

Handling and especially the turbopumps are expensive, which is why rocket jesus would not use it, but if we are going to be launching hundreds of times a year then hydrogen is what you want, instead of kerosene or methane byproducts in the upper atmosphere.

They were working on an integrated power head demonstrator for a full-flow hydrogen engine some years ago but ran out of money. It was too small anyway. What is needed is an engine in the 2 million pound thrust range like the Aerojet M-1, except full flow. Never big enough though and something with double that amount of thrust would make the most sense. A first stage with 4 such 4 million pound thrust engines and a central variable thrust engine, sized to land the first stage back, would be the way to go.

It might even be possible to use a turbo pump system to supply two of the thrust chambers, like the RD-180, and this would make for fewer components and in a sense be akin to a modern jetliner with two engines and third smaller one as the landing gear.

No Joy Today

No SLS launch today.

While the Trump Force gets funding close to NASA’s entire budget next year to weaponize Earth orbit with megaconstellations in a new cold war money scam, the spacex fanboys wail and gnash their teeth over SLS. While the Navy gets their new missile submarine and the Air Force gets their new stealth bomber, and the Army is offering a 20,000 dollar enlistment bonus to privates because they can’t find enough people who can pass the drug and physical fitness tests.

But somehow the SLS has to make “economic sense” and be “sustainable” and provide a “ROI.”

The damage done to the public perception of space by NewSpace fanboys, who are not really about space, but about an ideology, is profound.

There is no cheap. The way to keep corporations from making too much profit off cost-plus is the same way they did after the Apollo 1 fire, with draconian oversight. The way to lower the cost of the SLS per flight is to fly it more. The scam by the NewSpace Mob has been in progress for a decade. To make space “pay for itself”, which had already killed two shuttle crews. For-profit is the opposite of what Human Space Flight does. It does not generate revenue or sell anything. The small rockets used to launch satellites are useless for Beyond Earth Orbit Human Space Flight.
The death-to-SLS comments, literally libraries of them, and the NASA-bashing, is about a cult of personality and a pernicious right-wing libertarian ideology.

Why NewSpace is the worst thing that has ever happened to space exploration.

NewSpace is mostly about spacex, as most people can clearly see. I know you see that. Rocket jesus built a small rocket to start with, essentially a redux of the 1961 rocket NASA called “clusters last stand” because they knew it had too many engines, which violated a fundamental design principle. Musk’s manic groupies screamed bloody murder at any hint of the hobby rocket being deficient in any way. I remember it well. Even ten years ago they were shouting the miracle of Musk from the mountaintop and calling for the dismantling of NASA so it could all be handed over to the magic entrepreneur. Elon called Mars the second home of humankind…when it is not suitable for colonization. And there is the divide between the true prophet of space colonization, Gerard K. O’Neill, and the false prophet Elon Musk.

The far-right libertarian whackjobs that have taken up the torch for this billionaire grifter have influenced the public perception of space much like Trumpists have now driven democracy to the edge of the cliff. It is crazy. It is ALL 50 year old technology. That we never built any engines in the same class as the F1 after Saturn is clear proof that Human Space Flight has been at a near standstill for that long. If Human Space Flight and space colonization had been a national goal then we would have engines an order of magnitude more powerful than the F1 and would have been landing them back by the early 90’s.

So, I don’t understand how you can say the SLS has “no redeeming virtues.” It will get us out there and nothing else will. And it has an excellent escape system. And that is more than we have had since 1972. “Commercial” rockets are sized to make money with satellites, not send human-crewed spacecraft to the Moon. It is a case of go big or stay home and the SLS is the only big thing going. 

Well, the difference is that I understand that humans require a Near Sea Level Radiation One Gravity environment to thrive. Not visit. To live there. But the price tag exposes who wants to exploit space and make a buck and who wants an insurance policy for our species.

Orbital assembly and refueling is incredibly inefficient and this can be seen by looking at a single example- the Saturn V. If von Braun had been given a couple million more dollars to make Skylab a true wet workshop instead of a dry one, that first space station would have had more interior space than the ISS. It went up on one rocket. We landed on the Moon with one rocket and dozens of orbital refuelings were not required. 

Monday SLS Launches

With the Artemis program years behind schedule and billions over budget, and derided as a wasteful and ponderous boondoggle by the NewSpace crowd, NASA has a lot to prove.

Actually, it is “the NewSpace crowd” that has proved what a bunch of toxic cyberthugs they are…for years. The worst thing that has ever happened to space exploration.

They have flooded these forums with death-to-SLS propaganda from the beginning of the program, literally libraries of it. Screaming bloody murder and cost plus atrocity and proclaiming the end of the world. All for one purpose of course; to try and get that money for Musk. Transparent.

That it is a NASA rocket made to fly U.S. astronauts to the Moon makes this effort on behalf of a narcissist billionaire hobbyist and an anti-government libertarian ideology disgusting. Hiding it behind some kind of concerned citizen fiscal responsibility facade is absolutely disgusting.

Before I am silenced again, I will continue to state Musk committed three unforgivable sins:

1. He diverted NASA from a lunar return after ice had been discovered, setting human space flight back a decade.

2. He promoted a fantastical scam of colonizing Mars while also embarking on a megaconstellation program that will essentially strip mine Earth orbit.

3. Worst of all, with a single sentence, he contributed to the unfolding climate change catastrophe by branding the greatest hope of solving climate change and saving billions of lives, “the stupidest idea ever.”

Americans who visit these forums, unless they are a certain type of gullible and close-minded personality type and have already been sucked into the cults of Musk and Trump, read a few comments from Ayn-Rand-in-Space libertarian whackjobs and never come back.

A decade of NewSpace cyberthugs hijacking these forums have driven any real space enthusiasts away and replaced them with neoliberal cheerleaders. This has done tremendous damage to the public perception of space.
The worst thing that has ever happened to space exploration.

These “long duration” ISS missions cause permanent damage to the astronauts and raise their risk of cancer. The tours should at least be shortened, and the best path is decommissioning and directing the funding at a new shielded space station with artificial gravity, using lunar water and tether systems.

This is actually how space exploration should have logically progressed:

1. The Saturn V made reusable piece by piece, evolving into a mostly reusable vehicle for continued lunar exploration, which might have found ice in 1978 instead of 2008.

2. Semi-expendable robot Lunar Landers processing propellants and transporting water derived from lunar ice to Super Heavy Lift Vehicle wet workshops.

3. “Fat Workshop” double-hulled upper stages facilitating cosmic ray water shields for Space Stations in Lunar and Earth Orbits, especially GEO, and Lunar Cyclers.

With Tether Generated Artificial Gravity systems, combined with water shielding, Near Sea Level Radiation One gravity (NSLR1G) crew compartments would then allow human crews to stay in space indefinitely without Dosing or Debilitation, and eventually enable true Atomic Spaceships.

3.6 Million is not bad….but we have to do better. The environmental effects are problematic but new propellent mixes may soon be available that minimize harmful chemical byproducts while improving Isp. Then those 6 million pound thrust submarine-hulled reloadable Aerojet monsters might actually get built (AJ-260). And then there is the 325 inch model:

Notional solid rocket engine. Study 1963. Recoverable motors; separation at 1,972 m/s at 53,000 m altitude; splashdown using retrorockets under 3 61 m diameter parachutes 610 km downrange. Solid propellant rocket stage. Massed estimated based on tank volumes, total thrust, and first stage burnout conditions. Recoverable stage; separation at 1,972 m/s at 53,000 m altitude; splashdown using retrorockets under 3 61 m diameter parachutes 610 km downrange.
AKA: Nova GD-S. Status: Study 1963. Thrust: 69,047.00 kN (15,522,383 lbf). Specific impulse: 263 s. Specific impulse sea level: 238 s. Burn time: 116 s. Height: 60.40 m (198.10 ft). Diameter: 8.30 m (27.20 ft).

Not really a fan of solids but I am a firm believer in “Super Rockets” and boosters that put out 15 million pounds of thrust appeal to me. We build large jetliner engines and so I imagine turbopumps an order of magnitude larger could be built to feed “full flow” liquid hydrogen/oxygen engines in thrust ranges also an order of magnitude larger. In the case of the F-1 that would be 18 million pounds of thrust. Four of those, and a central variable thrust engine sized to land back the empty stage, is, in my view, what is needed for the ideal launch vehicle fist stage. Around 80 million pounds of thrust would likely require a small lake sized mass of water to soak up launch vibration. Would have to launch it in a remote location and it might put a thousand tons into LEO.

Only the state can undertake projects like that. Which is yet another reason why NewSpace is the worst thing that has ever happened to space exploration.

Not even a mention of the heavy nuclei component of cosmic radiation. The real problem for long duration missions, the elephant in the room nobody will talk about, is permanent damage. There is a set amount of shielding required to stop heavy nuclei; “The Parker Minimum.”

The ice on the Moon is the key to Human Space Flight Beyond Earth Orbit (HSF-BEO). The only solution to Dosing and Debilitation is a massive water shield and tether-generated-artificial-gravity. The water also enabling life support providing years of air and drinking water.

Until NASA starts telling the truth there will be no progress. They might think they can get away with sending a pair or two of astronauts to a Gateway for a month or two at a time and leave it vacant the rest of the year but that is even more of a money hole than the ISS.

There is a logical sequence that reveals itself if the administration goes by Feynman’s dictum: “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.”

The first step is getting that water off the Moon using 20 to 23 times less energy than from Earth.
The second step is to put it in double-hulled “Fat Workshops” in space.
The third step is to connect these crew compartments with a tether system.

The result is a Near Sea Level Radiation One Gravity (NSLR1G) environment where astronauts are protected from dosing and elevated cancer risk (especially young females) and tissue loss due to microgravity debilitation. Crews can stay in space indefinitely with no damage.

The necessary hardware is Super Heavy Lift Vehicles to loft the workshops and semi-expendable Robot Lunar Landers able to process ice into propellants and carry water into space repeatedly.

Depends on the solar event. I would guess if they are profoundly dosed for several days then it won’t matter. If it is a lesser event and only lasts a couple hours, the vest may be significant.

For any long duration missions Beyond Earth Orbit it is the combination of cosmic ray dosing and debilitation that causes permanent damage, and the only solution is a whole new paradigm that nobody seems willing to accept. Even Eugene Parker was skeptical about his minimum requirement of 400 tons of plastic for a small capsule. Parker is a radiation scientist though and was only thinking in terms of Space Shuttle payloads.

The ice on the Moon and nuclear energy are the solutions to Human Space Flight Beyond Earth and Lunar Orbit. Water can be lifted into space from the Moon with 20 to 23 times less energy than from Earth, which means for every 20 tons of shielding that can be lifted from the Earth 400 tons can be lifted from the Moon. Water equates to 500 tons for a capsule and for any practical living space for long missions very likely well over a thousand will be required. The upside is that much water makes closed loop life support providing years of air and drinking water far easier to effect. I call this a Near Sea Level Radiation One Gravity (NSLR1G) environment.

Artificial gravity requires structures strong enough to contain the water while being spun at a couple hundred miles an hour on the ends of a mile or so of tether system. Upper stage wet workshops of a double hull configuration, what I call “Fat Workshops”, are the likely solution. Only nuclear propulsion, and NOT nucear thermal, is going to push that much mass around the solar system. Either Nuclear Pulse (Bombs) or some new development of Nuclear Electric will work. New advances in TPV cells would allow Spaceship nuclear reactors to produce electricity straight from heat and might be the answer. Plenty of water for radiators and dampening tether oscillation.


With no water a Moonbase will require bringing ice from the asteroid belt and establishing a permanent presence is many years away. With ice on the Moon it is not many years away at all. With even one lava tube we can move right into with inflatable structures it could happen very quickly. With even one of the very large lava tubes likely to exist available then….an incredible opportunity to establish a cislunar industrial infrastructure based on Space Solar Power component manufacture.

I see only the Gateway for many years, and it will not even be permanently occupied. But when Robot Landers find ice and maybe lava tubes on the Moon this will generate incredible excitement and funding for a more appropriate lander will be found. That 14 story office building is never going to land on the Moon. The number of shiny refuels required alone make it a farce.

As for “Orbital Reef”, the likelihood of the government subsidizing a multi-billion dollar a year “commercial” LEO space station is nil. Not going to happen. LEO is a dead end.

Ceres, then Callisto, are the forward bases for scientific exploration of the subsurface oceans of icy bodies and the moons of the gas and ice giants. With human-crewed submarines transported by human-crewed Spaceships.

Same old NewSpace dogma. Yet Musk dumped it for a Super Heavy. It was always absurd, taking stuff up a bucket or armful at a time and saying you are going to the Moon or, even more ridiculous- Mars. Like saying a cargo vessel line across the North Atlantic with boy scout canoes is the way to go.

NewSpace has set space exploration back at least a decade.

“Off Earth” manufacturing is not necessarily the criteria. Asteroids are not a “better resource” than the Moon. SPS will not “evolve.”

Space Solar Power will be a multi-trillion dollar international commitment soon enough. The Climate Change catastrophe is looming.

Hydrogen Oxygen SHLV’s can lift Space Solar Power components with minimal damage to the atmosphere. Certainly less than kerosene or methane exhaust. 

BO New Glenn first stages look like they could replace the SLS solid rocket boosters. They are in the same thrust range. Might even try what spacex failed at: cross feeding liquid oxygen into the SLS core. LEO space stations are a dead end.

I strongly doubt there will ever be a “commercial” LEO space station.

Not enough billionaires in the world willing to blow the billions it would take to enable them to enjoy floating in a radiation bath and vomiting while looking out a window.
Faux astronaut wings are just not worth it.

“Invaluable” is not really accurate.

No ocean.
Too much gravity to land on easily.
Not enough solar energy.
Three strikes you are out.

Mars is a dead end.

When we finally have “true” Spaceships (cosmic ray shielding, artificial gravity, nuclear propulsion) then Ceres becomes the best first mission Beyond Earth and Lunar Orbit (HSF-BELO).

Mars will be bypassed as a rock. The qualifier is nuclear propulsion to push the necessary mass but nuclear thermal, which is getting some money thrown at it again, is also a dead end. For fantastic expense, only about twice the Isp of chemical rockets. Either nuclear pulse (bombs) or possibly some new form of nuclear electric will enable interplanetary human spaceflight.

“So far the cost/benefit ratios are negative.”

Not according to the British and German studies. You either did not even look at the executive summaries, or you are lying.

“SPS will happen when it is time for it to happen. That time will be when it makes engineering, economic, and political sense.”

It will happen when fossil fuels are legislated out of existence and decarbonization becomes international policy….and that is happening very quickly. If preventing a Climate Change catastrophe that will kill billions does not make sense then what does? Starlink for rural video gamers? You are uninformed and your comment is the worst kind of disinformation.

The spacex fanboys parroting their cult leader is disgusting.
The stupidest creeps ever.

Nothing of value has ever been returned from LEO space stations that could for a fraction of the cost have been done on automated laboratory satellites. Half a century wasted in LEO is enough! Time to drop that money hole into the ocean and move Beyond Earth Orbit.
Long past time.

The company has launched 3,108 Starlink satellites with 2,809 spacecraft working,”

Only 38,000 to go. Not counting the ones that go bad of course. What a mess.

Trump robbed you and the rest of us by pouring hundreds of billions of more dollars into billionaire pockets with his tax cuts.
Crying about NASA is hilarious….and transparent.

Donald Bren donated 100 million for Space Solar Power research. Not invested, donated. Europe, China, the Air Force, the Navy, they are all looking at it as the future. And the Moon is the place to build that cislunar power infrastructure. A recent study showed that while a much larger initial investment, building Space Solar Power components in lunar factories would power our entire civilization faster and at far less cost than building and launching them from Earth. Global utilities are a 6 trillion dollar a year market. Climate Change is going to be a catastrophe and wreck the planet if action is not taken. I believe a sea change is coming.

Of course the spacex fanboys smirk and parrot rocket jesus;
“the stupidest idea ever.”

I am certainly interested in Callisto as the second destination after Ceres for human missions. Outside those nasty radiation belts and it might have an ocean even though no tidal heating. Like Ceres.
Mars is the “never going to happen”; too much gravity to land easily and no ocean makes it a dead end.

True, no tubes at the poles but likely elsewhere. Can drive water trucks to the poles and do some exploring with them also since they carry their own shielding- I commented about that a couple times- about having them lower themselves down around a small area the astronauts could explore without being dosed.

As for the program needing something to do….space is the next step for humankind so it is far more than just something to do.f they were to find a nice big lava tube then the money would flow. If not for any other reason than to keep the Chinese from moving in. We found ice and that is the only reason we are trying to go back now so it could happen.

Far superior to the toxic dragon. The spacex capsule has an “escape system” that is more likely to kill the crew than anything else that could go wrong. The exact opposite of what it is supposed to do.

The Orion escape tower is awesome.

So….space elevators are not a good idea. They are like Helium 3 and cold fusion and several other pseudoscience favorites. People say they are serious about them being practical but…they are not (either not serious or not practical). What is practical is what we can actually build in various time frames like ten years. That’s how long it took to dig the Suez and Panama Canals. For something like powering the planet with Space Solar Power, go with a quarter century from landing on the Moon with the first construction equipment to actually beginning to get useful power from antennae fields on Earth. That would be with trillions of dollars sending Super Heavy Lift Vehicles from various nations every week. We can actually do that right now to stop Climate Change. I would be in my 90’s if that happened. I might live to see it if tomorrow they decided to do it.

Gerard K. O’Neill was a visionary that understood you can build megastructures in space because it is zero gravity and you have plenty of energy. Somewhat like glass blowing on a very large scale. His ultimate goal was space colonies, miles-in-diameter-artificial-spinning-hollow-moons, heading and trailing Earth in orbit around the sun, in solar orbit.

The following paragraph from the article is B.S. so I am not ready to give it a try. While Ceres is of great interest to me as the best first destination for human missions Beyond Earth and Lunar Orbit, because it is easy to land on (unlike Mars) and might have an ocean (unlike Mars), more solar energy is needed for space colonies. Any semi-permanent science base on Ceres would likely have a circular “sleeper train” under the ice providing artificial gravity sleeping and exercise spaces for inhabitants. Not practical for large populations.

“This would be logistically awful, too. If the population grows too large for one settlement, multiple settlements may be required. If multiple colonies are in orbit around the Sun, they could drift apart, creating other problems, such as inter-settlement travel. If they’re orbiting a common body, collision avoidance becomes a problem.”

You can say the Shuttle never missed a landing in 133 missions but….if this “misses” then what happens? It crashes with enough fuel left to blow it into pieces. If they move operations offshore maybe not such a big deal. It will bounce off the rig and into the ocean I guess. Without an escape system to get the crew clear it will NEVER carry humans.

This lack of escape system seems to tell the whole story- the shiny is about one thing; Starlink. And if Starlink fails, which I hope it does as those 41,000 pieces of space junk are something that NEVER should have been allowed, the shiny fails.

Spacex will still have their mediocre satelite launcher, the F9, but I doubt they will have rocket jesus in charge. We can only hope.

Robotic Rovers for “excavation missions that must operate in remote permanently shadowed regions of the Moon and survive multiple lunar nights” and “enable in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) missions on the Moon-“.

These Robotic Rovers and semi-expendable Robot Lunar Landers are needed to exploit ice resources. The Ice on the Moon is the key to Human Space Flight Beyond Earth Orbit by providing the thousands and then hundreds of thousands of tons of cosmic ray water shielding for Space Station, Lunar Cycler, and Spaceship crew compartments.