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#1 Re: Intelligent Alien Life » Why is the Universe silent? » 2008-05-21 13:17:06

To be continued under: Interplanetary Transportation / New Atmospheric Reentry techniques.

#2 Re: Intelligent Alien Life » Why is the Universe silent? » 2008-05-20 09:21:22

You and I are moving closer to each other's point of view regarding humanity's intellgence, but further from the topic of why the universe is silent--which as I have said is because we're the only life presently capable of transmitting electromagnetic rubbish in "our" galaxy. So I guess it's time for me to stop stating the obvious and get back to applying my intelligence to discussing ways and means of launching to and returning spacecraft routinely from orbit as reliably as atmospheric transport aircraft, eh?

#3 Re: Intelligent Alien Life » Why is the Universe silent? » 2008-05-19 19:10:19

There's no "jury still to be out" on whether we possess intelligence or not--which leaves just us to define "intelligence," and then decide if we have enough of it being educated in the world to develop practical space travel, before it's too late.

#4 Re: Intelligent Alien Life » Why is the Universe silent? » 2008-05-17 13:32:29

That's what I thought over 25 years ago! And since I won't be around 25 years from now (sob) you just go ahead and plan for your future. As far as I'm concerned there aren't any intelligences out there to help, which is why I want us to get cracking on our own right now....

#5 Re: Not So Free Chat » NEW MARS MOVING TO MARS SOCIETY SERVER IMMINENT » 2008-05-15 08:07:45

I don't understand. What is this all about, and how does it affect us?

#6 Re: Not So Free Chat » Perspective » 2008-05-15 08:05:24

How about, as long as you're arguing blue-sky efforts to colonize the Moon, say, or even Mars: a space cooperative where everyone directly involved works for room and board without wages beyond what it takes to subsist upon within a self-contained community devoted to the success of that fixed objective? I bet the costs would go down 90%, making donated finances from a million space nuts like me adequate to pay for the project.

#7 Re: Not So Free Chat » Did Iran become a player in space ? » 2008-05-15 07:46:19

Tom, your stuff would be more readable if you'd only use a speller. It makes me cringe every time you write "tollerance" for tolerance. Same as when Bush insists of saying "nuculear" instead of nuclear. Ignorance is inferred, rightly or wrongly, when you keep on mispelling, eh?

#8 Re: Intelligent Alien Life » Why is the Universe silent? » 2008-05-15 07:32:28

Having reread the posts submitted so far in reply to this topic ("Intelligent Alien Life") I still believe that we are the only intelligent species currently inhabiting the Milkyway Galaxy capable of communicating and eventually populating it. Well--so what, if there aren't any others? Once we're away from Earth for a thousand generations, there'll be enough intelligent "alien" forms of our own species out there ... so let's continue the discussion of how to deal with them in the forseeable future.

#9 Re: Interplanetary transportation » Relativity of light - light at light speed » 2008-05-14 16:07:45

pete wrote: And by the way bobunf is entirely right. Special Relativity is classic in the sense that it doesn't require quantum theory. In fact Einstein never really understood quantum theory and he rejected it: "God doesn't throw dice".
I've often wondered what it was about quantum theory that Eistein didn't understand....

#10 Re: Intelligent Alien Life » Why is the Universe silent? » 2008-05-14 15:55:43


By the time the Sun begins to "burn brighter" (billions of years from now?) we'll either be long gone: either in the sense of having destroyed ourselves, or having left Earth for other more hospitable planet systems  within the galaxy. By the way, your use of the term "universe" with its billion-plus visible galaxies leaves me unmoved. The good old Milkyway Galaxy is big enough for me to contemplate regarding the future....

#11 Re: Intelligent Alien Life » Why is the Universe silent? » 2008-05-13 20:24:33

That's right, nickname: we are really quite a marvelous race of beings, when you come to think about it. We've been able to conceptualize in our minds from the surface of this tiny planet the whole universe of galaxies, in only a few centurie, as a result of our inate curiosity, ability to develop technologies to enhance our senses, and apply mathematical models to make it all understandable. If we wipe ourselves out before spreading out into the Solar System, will there be time enough for another species to develop intelligence enough, with our curiosity, our dexterity, etc. before changing conditions on Earth and its resources make the accomplishment a second time impossible? Perhaps once per Sun is par for the course....

#12 Re: Interplanetary transportation » Transportation in a Solar Society » 2008-05-04 19:25:29

Gosh, Tom---what do you care. You'll be long gone by then. That is, unless you put increasing longevity on your list!

#13 Re: Not So Free Chat » Did Iran become a player in space ? » 2008-05-04 19:23:08

I can't help but wonder how Muslims in LEO are going to get around the obligation to pray in the direction of Mecca every so often--ideas or opinions, anyone?

#14 Re: Interplanetary transportation » Relativity of light - light at light speed » 2008-05-04 19:04:44

Five minutes inside the ship, in both directions, since "speed" outside the ship has no relevance to anything inside.

#15 Re: Space Policy » Primary space politics » 2008-05-02 11:51:21

I'll try to resist making that old joke about what a great first lady Bill Clinton would make.

Wrong. It's "First Laddy,"not "First Lady," in the case of the Clintons--since it's not a same-sex marriage.

#16 Re: Intelligent Alien Life » Why is the Universe silent? » 2008-05-02 11:41:37

I believe we represent the only form of intelligence with the potential capability of populating the Milky Way Galaxy. We should stop wasting that potential warring amongst ourselves since (for all practical purposes) we are alone in our island universe, and just get on with it....

#17 Re: Planetary transportation » Trains on Mars - Could a rail system provide martian need » 2008-04-29 19:34:51

Mightn't a Sterling externally heated sealed hot-air engine (of yet to be determined configuration) be more suitable for the railways of Mars, than the type of steam engine you propose?

#18 Re: Interplanetary transportation » Saltwater Combustion » 2008-04-22 09:55:22

I know, I know--it goes way back, I remember, to the 1930s when the highways began to replace the rails. Hydrogen to fuel private automobiles is another. Personally, I hope to live to see plug-in hybrids--which don't seem as pie-in-the-sky--so I can afford to live further out in the country....

#19 Re: Interplanetary transportation » Saltwater Combustion » 2008-04-20 18:21:02

Well, shoot--I thought I'd uncovered something useful, but now I don't see it anymore. To sum up: A specially developed portable solid-state microwave power generator/transmitters should be possible, but powering it without a nuclear generator remains a problem on Mars. I have no doubt that excavatable subsurface water-ice contaminated with all sorts of salts will be discovered and that landings will be zeroed-in on the most likely locations, rendering water not all that scarce. But melting the ice will remain a problem. Once melted, low voltage dc from solar batteries should suffice for electroytically splitting the H2O once melted, and storing the resulting hydrogen and oxygen safely bottled separately. Oxy-hydrogen torches would still be possible in the CO2 atmosphere outside.
I wonder what the current "Saltwater Combustion" experiments taking place in Florida will come up with? Not another "Cold Fusion" fiasco, since the effect can be demonstrated on demand. A solution looking for a problem perhaps?. Shall I leave it in the Forum for a while, to find out, or kill it now?

#20 Re: Interplanetary transportation » Saltwater Combustion » 2008-04-19 22:55:10

My object in refering to the process as "burning" was only to introduce the subject to the Mars Society and await members' reactions.

Elsewhere on the Internet regarding this topic, most of the commentary consists primarily of objections involving energy conversion efficiencies, including the math straight out of the Physics textbooks. But no discussions regarding uniqueness of the process which, unlike electrolysis, produces hydrogen and oxygen together on demand--which could actually be combusted on Mars in the atmosphere outside of the habitats, and used for smelting, etc.

No question, the addition of photoelectricity derived from the Sun or from nuclear powerplants would be needed to power the rf generators

The means of storing the water, I've already suggested, could be the form of mined dirty-ice.

I don't know of any industrial H2/O2 mixtures being piped or bottled under pressure. I'd hoped that some original ideas, besides the obvious conversion efficiency objections, might result from introducing this topic, already extensively discussed currently elsewhere on the Internet, for applications on Mars, or the Moon for that matter.

#21 Re: Interplanetary transportation » Saltwater Combustion » 2008-04-19 20:28:32

Of course, the questions regarding the boiling state of water in vacuum and the manipulation under microgravity conditions remain to be addressed--just one example of what the ISS is for.

But, on Mars--once local water sources have been located and mined--the (presumably already-salty) ice could be transported and stored outside the habitats, melted by concentrated sunlight as needed,and "burned" like cordwood outside or inside, for creature comforts ranging from life support to cooking by gas ... and for on-site smelting of ores, scraped from the surface or dug inside caverns and tunnels, and the casting and alloying of resultant metals.

#22 Re: Interplanetary transportation » Saltwater Combustion » 2008-04-19 12:02:17

The demonstrated possibility of producing blended hydrogen and oxygen gas from seawater by exposing it to photons of electromagnetic radiation at radio frequencies can be observed in several convincing video clips by searching eg. Google under "salltwater combustion". There's a lot of discussion regarding the topic, but nothing about the possibility of "burning" water (to which NaCl has been added) in vacuum. With a flame temperature of  3,000 F, surely some practical use can be made of this reaction in space?

#23 Re: Planetary transportation » Drilling on Mars » 2008-04-16 07:09:33

Well, tunnelling (including blasting) at least would require less hardware to take along than drilling....

#24 Re: Human missions » Long duration Human space missions - Can we survive them? » 2008-04-16 06:59:43

I like to think that vegetable gardening will be a fascinating and diverting, as well as time-consuming, crew activity aboard spacecraft bound for Mars.

#25 Re: Planetary transportation » Drilling on Mars » 2008-04-13 20:15:27

That's right: by using pick and shovel equivalents to tunnel horizontally.

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