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A People's Space Movement

A people’s space movement
Let us put forth an aggressive agenda to dramatically increase the number of everyday people going into space so that we can at last take on the challenge of becoming a true spacefaring world.
In 1969 we sent men to the moon with ancient technology. Today we have vastly more advanced computers and vastly more advanced composite materials, vastly more advanced rockets. Access to space does not need to be so damned expensive. It has been so only due to the short-sighted greed of the aerospace industry. Yes, space has its dangers, but so too has air travel. Yes, people have died in spaceflight but, so too have people died on every highway in the country. Have we stopped the automobile? No we have not. We continued on and that we must do in space. We should continue onward and upward... to the moon... to the edge of the solar system... to the nearest stars.
We should open our eyes and hearts and minds and take our time and resources to forge boldly toward the high frontier. Let us create a space industry investment pool to pay the bills, let us tell congress to support expanding space initiatives or we will vote them out, let us create a High Frontier University to teach the youngest and the brightest that there are great dreams worth living and dying for... but we will not die. If we have vision and if we have courage, we will flourish. If we do not move more of us on the fantastic adventure of life in space we will follow the path of the dinosaurs. We will fade and slowly wither away. But that is not what humanity was meant to do. We were meant not to just look but to go beyond the next mountain, to climb ever higher, to bequeath to our children and theirs a destiny beyond measure.
Let us not bemoan the negative; any expert can tell you why it will not work. All impossible things were impossible until someone found a way. The universe is our playground... We belong to the universe and the universe belongs to us. Your ideas are welcome as is your support.

  • Jun 27 2013: Lets assemble a list of reference materials. Books and videos about the design, building, testing and launching of space crafts. This is only a small sample of what I have in my personal library: The High Frontier by Gerard K Oneil. The pictorial history of NASA, The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe, X-15, A Step Farther Out by Jerry L. Pournelle, Halfway to Anywhere by Robert Heinlien ( I think) The History of the Space Shuttle, I will add more later.
  • Jun 26 2013: I have taken a step... there is now registered a domain name peoplespacemovement.com. I did it earlier today and next week I shall register another, highfrontieruniversity.com. Every day I will post a step or a suggestion or a question all designed to move us closer to the goal of space travel for all. Do you know of any one who can help? If so ask them to join, if not, go to the places you think they might be and ask them to join with us. And if you find none there, then step up yourself and ask what you can do the help the cause.
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      Jul 2 2013: Hey David, good job taking a step forward.

      And I think I know a couple of people who are knowledgeable on this subject.

      Also, if u want i could present this idea on TEDx. I'll be attending a couple of them this year and more next year.

      What do u say?
  • Jul 23 2013: Ok we have come to the end of the conversation... well in 16 hours and handful of minutes. So if any one out there wants to carry on this concept email me at dlyttle@woh.rr.com.
    Otherwise, adios
  • Jul 10 2013: Comments anyone?
  • Jul 9 2013: Lets think for a moment... Imagine what the world would be like today if we hadn't stopped going to the moon in 1972. Imagine if NASA had launched just 2 moon landings a year since then. By now we would have had at a minimum, 124 men and women having walked on the lunar surface. And we would have gotten better and better at it. We would have developed bigger ships with longer staying times on the moon. We would have had outposts set up which would have lead to colonies and even cities. Some might grumble..."There was no reason to keep going to the moon. We collected enough moon rocks and besides we had other problems to spend our tax dollars on, other problems like the Vietnam War and... and ... and the war on drugs... and that pesky unemployment problem." Well to them I say, while the Vietnam war ran it's course, how successful have we been at solving those other problems? We still have the drug problem (It's worse) We still have rampant unemployment (it too is worse) Is our world a better place today for having stopped going to the moon? I must alas shake my head no in pity.

    Now let us imagine what life on earth would be like if we were able to leave the planet at prices you can afford. Life would become an adventure...As Neil DeGrasse Tyson has often said, "Space Flight Makes Heroes!" We could have a world in which headlines speak of good news from the dark side of the moon; the inventions, the discoveries, all manner of cures for human ills. With enough medical progress, human longevity measured in dozens of decades or even longer become possible. And talk about jobs!Imagine the floodgates to prosperity kicked open and all the nations of the world joining hands to make it happen. Humanity unified... Brotherhood... new industries for solving old problems. Imagine negative rates of unemployment... We could have more jobs than we have people. Those who invest now can become the first multi-trillionares. So, let us dream big, start small maybe, but dream big.
  • Jul 8 2013: Food for thought... sometimes we settle for doing things a certain way because that was the way we always did them before. Time to get out of the box. How can we get into space at a low cost? Should we try to invent a new way and do all that research or... should we find lower cost ways to do it the old way? The old V-2 Rocket fueled by alcohol and liquid oxygen could almost reach orbit with a one ton payload. What would it take to do that today? Want a new idea? I do have a few... Actually I have a bunch. Some are crazy (but they just might work.) and some are... well I think I'll hold off on them until I see more interest in this conversation... feels kinda one-sided.
  • Jul 5 2013: So what ever happened to the over 400,000 people that helped put man (but no women) on the moon? Were they all shipped off to some remote island? Did they go to the moon and forget to tell the rest of us? Did they have any relatives? The lack of response from any of them is puzzling. Maybe they were all locked in the cellar by the women in their lives who were ticked off they never sent women to the moon.
  • Jul 3 2013: I have found more videos on the microwave plasma experiment. The resulting plasma is super heated to around 9000 degrees so it routinely breaks the glass it is contained in. This needs more research. We need to finds materials that could withstand those high temperatures. A totomak reactor used high energy magnetic fields to contain the plasma it creates but that is too energy intensive. There must be another way. perhaps the thermal tiles used in the space shuttle? No reentry temps are only 3000 degrees... maybe we could remove the excess heat in some way. think... think...think. more research.
  • Jul 2 2013: I was tempted to give it a rest for a day... but then if I don't speak up, who else will speak? I just saw an old tape I made of Boston Legal, years ago. After the show went off I apparently did some channel surfing and not finding anything I turned off the t.v. But I apparently did not turn off the VCR so I taped what ever was on the last channel I left the tv on. It was a show about mystery lights in the night sky near a mountain range. One theory was that the strange lights were related to a piezoelectric effect of the local granite sub surface rock formation. They also showed an interesting experiment where they lit a candle and put it into a microwave oven. Then they put a glass tube over the lit candle flame and turned on the microwave oven. The flame expanded and rose to the top of the glass container as a form of plasma. It was neat to watch. Until we do some research on this I urge you not to try it at home. but it is something that should be investigated... perhaps it is a new form of energy that could be tapped. I will do more research on it and report back but in the mean time...don't try it, ok?
  • Jun 30 2013: Listen to this... Lets have a forum to amass ideas for low cost space launch systems. Just the ideas for now, only positive comments, supportive comments, suggestions as to how to improve the idea. NO NEGATIVE OBSERVATIONS! NO WISECRACKS LIKE "THAT"LL NEVER WORK!!!" Ideas are the stuff dreams are made. So lets get creative.

    My idea for a low cost space launch system to orbit... here goes.

    Remember the X-15? It had a quarter of the thrust needed to reach orbit.

    Suppose we get a retired B-52. Suppose we build a space craft with light weight composites so that it's total fueled weight is maybe twice the weight of the x-15 with a crew cabin that can seat six. We give it four rocket engines to generate 2.4 million pounds of thrust. Fuel could be liquid O2 and alcohol/water like the V2. We put heat tiles on the underside. Make it a winged vehicle like the space shuttle to glide to a landing. We sling it beneath the belly of the B-52 which carries it to some appropriate high launching altitude. We launch it away and roar into orbit.

    The shuttle was designed to carry 64,000 pounds to LEO. How much would our crew cabin have to weigh? 6 people at 200 pounds each, that's only 1,200 lbs. Add the weight of seats, padding, life support and viewports... maybe it gets up to 16,000 pounds. Hmmmmm. What would that launch cost be?

    It could be beautiful... Imagine.

    Soaring up above the horizon, entering a stable orbit, the mottled blue/green/brown and cloud-flocked globe silently gliding below us. And above, the diamond tracery of stars, the milky way and all of the rest of the universe. Look! There's the moon rising to join us. One full orbit, two, three times 'round planet earth. Our faces pressed to the viewports. We can hardly believe we are in space... but we are... and at prices you can afford. Are you game?
  • Jun 29 2013: I am directing today's comment to former NASA and aerospace employees. I hope my earlier comments about price gouging were not taken personally. I hope you understand it was not an indictment against you. Those who fix the prices are in upper management. I would like to get your input as to what we can do to get things moving. Please join our conversation. Log in and weigh-in. Let us know what we can and should be doing. Give us leads, tell us who will invest. Are there any abandoned facilities we can use? Anything... just don't be silent.
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    Jun 25 2013: I'm in.
    You make strong valid points and I say we go forward with this initiative.

    I'll help in every way possible to make this possible.

    First we should start by discussing the agenda and the plans we need to take in the coming days.

    I suggest a website, a blog, and social website pages to let people in on our plans and give our full efforts in this.
    • Jun 25 2013: Thank you. I am so relieved there is at least one other person on the planet who shares this vision. Numbers... we need numbers of people who think like we do to get this going. I like your ideas about a website and a blog to get this moviing. I would like to reach out to all the retired people who worked at NASA and the companies that built the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle. They may miss the good old days when the sky was not the limit. I am open to any suggestions for an agenda you may have.
  • Jun 25 2013: "Access to space does not need to be so damned expensive. It has been so only due to the short-sighted greed of the aerospace industry."

    Could you explain this claim? It seems like the aerospace industry would have the most to gain from an expanded space exploration agenda.

    A lost of costs stem from heavy government regulation in addition to the mundane material costs. If you think a gallon/liter of gasoline is expensive, can you imagine the bill for rocket fuel?
    • Jun 25 2013: I had a conversation with a NASA employee a few years ago. I asked him why the cost to launch items on the space shutter was over $10,000 a pound. He said it is beause of the cost of every part of the shuttle. A single tire on the landing gear costs $600,000! I asked why and he said it was because of all the testing they must do. I can buy that for the first tire but every single tire? That is pure price gouging. Once you have the specifications for any shuttle part then the cost for each production part should come way down and it is only a matter of quality control. Imagine what the cost of an airline ticket would be if every tire on the airplane costs 600K. The companies that sell these parts would rather collect 600k as opposed to $89.95 per tire. I think there are cost reduction strategies that can bring down the cost to launch to the neighbhood of a dollar a pound, maybe two. As far as the cost of rocket fuel. we could use alternative energy sources like solar and wind power to produce electricity to produce hydrogen from water as a great cost savings. There are ways to do all this if we examine closely every cost item for less expensive alternatives.
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        Jun 26 2013: I believe that we can hugely reduce the cost of take-off.

        Most companies and factories will put huge price-tags just for the cause that its being sent to space.

        Isn't it strange that even after all these years, they couldn't come up with a specific kind of tire. Individual testing for every tire might not be necessary if a specific set is made. The same goes for all the million dollar body which could be easily reproduced, ditto to the original for a cheaper cost.

        We might be wrong with our thoughts but unless someone explains me point-to-point why we need to spend so much on testing, I will not back down from this new found challenge.
        • Jun 26 2013: Absolutely. I suggest we examine the true cost of each component from the beginning of the space program to now. Lets compare the cost of everything and see what has been overpriced simply because it is space related