View Full Version : A.S.A.P.!

2004-Mar-20, 06:04 PM
I know you are used to A.S.A.P meaning 'As Soon As Possible'. It could even mean 'Astronauts Sure Appreciate Propulsion'. But for the context of this topic, let's make it stand for:

Accelerated Space Access Protocol...And that means whatever it takes to get as many people into space as soon as possible.

Progress is too slow and we don't have time to wait. A lot of money is getting spent. Are we doing the best we can with the money that is available?

All the money spent on space activities is spent here on Earth. Almost all of that money goes to pay for the basic bills of the individuals who do the work.

And most of that money actually goes to waste and inneficiency. Think about it.

If a Nasa or a private corporation came up with an idea for a rocket engine that weighed more and produced 1/2 the thrust, would that help get us into space faster? Absolutely not. So why would anyone who embraces the concept of efficient thrust go out and buy a high-priced, overweight, gas-guzzling SUV. In addition, the ads make them look fast and sexy and powerful as they flash past the camera on an empty road at a blurring speed. But in reality, they are usually stuck in gridlock with the rest of us.

What is supposed to be transportation has become a money pit. And that is just one example.

If you were able to save 50% on the overall costs of the space engineers & workers, you could do twice as many projects with the same amount of money.

It may be difficult these days to double the budget of Nasa, but through increases in efficiency, it shouldn't be as difficult to get twice as much done.

What do you think?

2004-Mar-20, 06:55 PM
Hi Tom,

First, I think that you are thinking way outside the box on this one, but perhaps some clarifications would make your proposal sound more reasonable. By my first read of your suggestion some alarms have gone off for me, but I am sure you can't mean what I think I'm reading.

First: as many people into space as soon as possible? We can get more people into space on a lot less money if we reduce the demand on safety. If we would allow the first hundred or so to die, and then have a 70% mortality rate on the next ten thousand, I bet we could get 3000 people into orbit in under ten years, maybe even under five. Is that OK?

Second: As an engineer, I want to be compensated for what I do, comenserate with the laws of supply and demand. Are you proposing that we have indentured servants working on the development and testing of the spacecraft, as well as the mining, refining, and production of all the raw materials? There's a lot of people with whom this slavery idea would not be popular.

Third, you make a statement that progress is way to slow, but normally something requiring a major shift as you propose needs to be backed up by a case being made. What is the negative consequence of this slow progress. What is the cost to society for your proposed correction?

Note: I am a big fan of robotic missions, and not of doing a lot with manned space missions until there is a clear need for man in space, and a well developed place to stay out there. This means I disagree with your basic assumption about needing to get lots of people out there.

2004-Mar-20, 08:44 PM
What is the negative consequence of this slow progress. What is the cost to society for your proposed correction?

Being the hyperzealot that I am and also wishing to avoid enslaving anyone, I would like to see much more urgency applied to interstellar transportation capability development. A negative consequence of proceeding too slowly is the extermination of humans and many other earthling species. A vigorous effort begun immediately could get us under way in about 100 or so years. Until we occupy several planets in several stellar systems, we are quite vulnerable to the several mindless ways the universe has of terminating us.

On the up side, a planetwide economic boom can't be all that bad. Also, such a development might secure our focus on a single item to fuss with each other about.

The chains of gravitational enslavement must be forged, reforged but not cast off entirely, to allow humans more liberty leading to more access to the universe and a better chance at perpetuity through our descendents and their engineering of the configuration of ever larger sections of the universe. Or is this being too much of a materialist.

2004-Mar-21, 07:05 AM
GOURDHEAD, Your comments are perfection! Thank You for them. Please excuse me while I attend to:

Antoniseb, You raise and interesting point with:

Posted on Mar 20 2004, 06:55 PM
...We can get more people into space on a lot less money if we reduce the demand on safety. If we would allow the first hundred or so to die, and then have a 70% mortality rate on the next ten thousand, I bet we could get 3000 people into orbit in under ten years, maybe even under five. Is that OK? :o

To be quite honest, if you wanted me to brainstorm on a solution to the high costs of space and locked me in a room, put a gun to my head and threatened to kill me, it would never have occured to me in any way to compromise on safety or put the lives of astronauts at risk. And yet, that concept is the first conclusion which you came to. Tell me, is this the sort of “Inside the Box” thinking which engineers are being rewarded for these days? Perhaps it is.

If you had read my other posts, you would realize that I am critical of the basic inneficiency of the automobile and its use as a transportation device. I am also not too fond of the fact that over 50,000 Americans are dying in car accidents each year(and hundred of thousands maimed). That’s about 140 citizens per day. Most of them are innocent men, women and children who are just going about their day, and they didn’t even sign on for “hazardous” or “risky” duties which our military or astronauts do. It’s the equivalent to an airliner going down with total loss of life every couple of days. It’s the equivalent to the 2800+ 9-11 deaths every 3 weeks. It is a carnage which quite simply, is taken for granted.

The whole network of people that funds, designs and builds this fatality prone “transportation system” accepts these losses as a normal part of daily life. I started my college career as an enthusiastic engineering student. I was dissapointed when one of my first courses in “Transportation and Urban Design” concluded with the succinct observation that, there wasn’t much that could be done to improve things. When I made a presentation on alternatives which I had researched from around the world, from city planners, futurists and even designers of space colonies, my engineering advisor suggested that I forget about all that fanciful stuff and concentrate on the “program”. He said that, “all you would be expected to do is basically copy road and parking lot layouts, and, they pay you good money for that”.

When I asked about whose responsibility it was to design a better world, he simply suggested that I look into another major. My life-changing career decision took approximately 2 seconds, though if I knew then what I know now, I should have made the decision faster. I have since seen it confirmed hundreds of times, that alternatives are available and are far easier to implement than the ‘powers that be’ would have you believe. Better designs are usually less wasteful, less expensive and improve the quality of life. And they can be profitable.

Regarding your Second point:

As an engineer, I want to be compensated for what I do, comenserate with the laws of supply and demand. Are you proposing that we have indentured servants working on the development and testing of the spacecraft, as well as the mining, refining, and production of all the raw materials? There's a lot of people with whom this slavery idea would not be popular.

Many years ago, I started giving paper presentations at space conferences on how to build an Earth-based prototype as a potential analogue for Lunar/Mars base, and Space Station designs. Even then, the goal was to improve efficiency, reduce waste, and give scientists and researchers a fun, hands-on environment to work in. And to make sure that after all the bills were paid, everyone had more money in their pockets at the end of the month than they would have received from a conventional company. I thought it would be good to reward the creative process, to actually improve on “the laws of supply and demand”.

I don’t even know how to respond to your suggestion that this would represent some kind of “slave labor”. I would also like to point out that I know engineers who made more money in California( where the cost of living is higher) and then moved to jobs here in Florida(where the cost of living is lower). They consider it OK that they end up with more money each month, even though their pay is lower than it used to be. Is that “slave labor” to you?

As far as:

Third...normally something requiring a major shift as you propose needs to be backed up by a case being made.
Look at the developments over the last 100 years. Did you telegraph your post into the Universe Today Forum? How big would your computer be if it contained several billion vacuum tubes instead of a few Very-Large-Scale-Integration, Surface-Mount, Complimentary-Metal-Oxide-Semiconductors? How long has it been since anyone you know stopped their car and got out to make a pay telephone call? Do you fax documents? Do you recieve any portion of your Television entertainment or cell phone service through a satellite, or a fiber optic line? Do you have or want to have a flat screen TV? Does your camera use tin plates, or glass plates, or sheet film or roll film, or does it use filmless digital media?

In the world of electronics,there are things which one day no one has, and a couple of years later over 50% of the population has. Are you suggesting that we slow this trend down? Do you protest every major technological change, or are you pretty near the front of the line for each new electronic product and gadget? Are you now, or have you ever been or had any association with a Neo-Luddite?

Contrast all this with the developments in housing, my special concern. Why, less than 100 years ago, housing was going through a major upgrade when the concept of indoor toilets was catching on(House Version 1.2?). And just a few years after that, people absolutely swooned as they upgraded to House Version 1.3 with the introduction of Electricity. And, who remembers the introduction of Central Air Conditioning for the average home around 40 plus years ago(House Version 1.4).

Do you think I am being impatient and reckless for wanting housing technology to change faster? Look-up the ‘First Passive Solar Home Awards from the 1970’s in your Google search, they had homes then which saved 80% of the electricity used for heating, airconditioning, hot water, lighting and appliances. Is the pace too fast for you to consider, that after 30 years we could improve energy efficiency by another 10%, or 1/3rd of 1% a year? Do you mean to suggest that, as a consumer, you would expect your Computer speed to Double, from 1 gigahertz to 2 gigahertz in a single year, but that I am shaking the very foundations of society and the world as we know it by suggesting we improve housing efficiency by a rate of change which is 600 times slower( 2 / 0.0033 = 606)?

Further, did you know that one of the early uses of passive solar in the U.S. was nearly 1500 years ago by the Anasazi Indians in the Chaco Canyon region in the SW? They used cliff overhangs to protect against the summer sun and used reflective paint on the underside of the overhangs to reflect winter sun into interior spaces surrounded by thick, daytime-heat storing, nightime-thermal releasing adobe walls.

Antoniseb, are you suggesting that taking 1,500 years to absorb passive solar techniques into new housing design is not slow enough for you?

At the risk of further wordiness, I want to share one final, personal attitude of mine towards crew safety in space vehicles. My father shared some things with me from his experience as a USAF missile instructor. One was, “never do anything critical during a phase change, when materials are boiling, or sublimating, or Freezing. You never know what the effects will be on the hardware.” And, in the early 60’s, my scout troop camped out on Merritt Island in the last week in January for a space themed Jamboree, with astronaut speakers and trips to the Cape. It was one of the coldest weekends I ever camped out in Florida, it got into the low 20’s.

On the morning when the Challenger was being prepared for launch, and they showed the ice on the vehicle and the pad, I remembered about “phase changes” and that cold campout at the Cape on the same date years before. When they reached 5 seconds in the countdown, I turned the TV off because I didn’t want to watch the crew be killed. My girlfriend had just left the house to run an errand and came back a few minutes later, having heard on the radio that Challenger had blown up.

Antoniseb, trust me on this one fact. If it was my decision, I would not have launched them. I would have put my career and reputation on the line and they would not have died. Not on my watch. I have since spent countless hours researching and designing a space vehicle which would not blow up, or crash, and which can withstand an uncontrolled re-entry from orbit. You would be lucky to meet anyone else who cares as much for crew safety as I do.

And although I thought it went without saying, I will make a change in my wording to reflect your observations:

Accelerated Space Access Protocol...And that means whatever it takes to get as many people [safely] into space as soon as possible. B)

2004-Mar-21, 01:22 PM
Tell me, is this the sort of “Inside the Box” thinking which engineers are being rewarded for these days?

And that means whatever it takes to get as many people into space as soon as possible

I expressed the idea of relaxation of safety as a horror indicating a hole in the "whatever it takes" position. I have never advocated relaxing safety, but used it here as reducto ad absurdium. Thanks for modifying your edict to include the word safely.

Concerning "slavery" your longer explanation makes it more clear that you would be offering an opportunity to live more efficiently as part of a free-market situation. This wasn't clear before, particularly with the apparent call for a large scale "whatever it takes" statement. I have read your previous articles, and hadn't been seeing the connection between bad SUVs and men in space. Please correct any misconceptions here, but you are now discussing building a large-scale energy and resource efficient community expressly for the purpose of developing a manned presence in space. The goal would be to entice as many scientists and engineers to volunteer to be there with all needs covered, and to get some modest compensation at the end when they return to the commercial world. Your messages until now could have been read as wanting to force this eco-utopian life-style on everyone.

Your lengthy section likening me to a Luddite was uncalled for. I do not propose to stand in the way of progress. My call for a justification for what appeared to be your call for a large expensive intervention in the advance of a technology is not a condemnation of the way in which technology has so far advanced, and brought us indoor plumbing or the internet. I believe that we are proceding forward in our space technology, and I would like it to go faster. You and I disagree with the level of imperative that this technology should include new manned missions in the short term.

If you can make good progress with volunteer scientists doing Mars-mission simulations in the Canadian arctic or Utah desert, that is a wonderful thing.

2004-Mar-21, 08:22 PM

Your lengthy section likening me to a Luddite was uncalled for.

The lengthy section of technological advances was to illustrate how we cannot always know the direction or speed of change. The Luddite reference was, what was your phrase?...oh, yes..."reducto ad absurdium". No actual Luddite slur was intended, since it is obvious that you are using the Internet.


your call for a large expensive intervention in the advance of a technology

I can see that my basic concept is still being misunderstood. I am simply stating that there is enough waste and inefficiency within the system already, that by "stopping the leaks", the resources and energies of individuals, companies and governments will not be wasted, squandered and lost. By starting with small savings which can be reinvested to stop bigger leaks, and continuing the process, a large eventual change can be accomplished with practically no initial input.

So, to all of the Forum in general, here are some examples

Example 1: Years ago, I had a Ford LTD station wagon, It was cheap to buy, but consumed a lot of gas at 12 to 14mpg. I then bought a used Mercury Tracer, which still allowed me to carry lots of stuff but only consumed gas at 35 to 41mpg. In 2 years, the fuel savings over using the LTD paid off the Tracer. I then had a much nicer car and lower continuing fuel expenses.

Example 2: I met a Russian researcher who had implemented a solar energy experiment at their research station near the South Pole. They tracked the sun during the Antarctic summer, and daily received as much solar energy as from the Latitude of New Jersey, since the sun was above the horizon all day long. In typical use, a solar panel on a standard house would take 30 years to pay itself from utility savings. However, by the time fuel is transported all the way to the South Pole, the costs from shipping, and handling by support personel and the use of helicopters makes the fuel cost from 25 to 40 times as much as conventional. Therefore, in their application, the solar panels paid themselves of in a single season. Each season after that, the panels continued to produce power and saved the Russian contingent some money, which they then used to simultaneously expand their operations and reduce the overall costs of research.

Example 3: Lots of so-called "House of the Future" showcases make the news each year. The news blurbs always point out that the PV panels cost about $100,000 and conclude that solar "isn't ready yet", or, "solar is too expensive", or, "billions of dollars in additional research money is required to bring the cost of solar PV's down so the average consumer can afford it".

At the same time, there are several hundred thousand examples of off-the-grid homes in the US alone. Most of them were not built by millionaires but by average people. And they use a different strategy that the high-falootin' architects and engineers producing a showcase home for some slick media photo-op. The strategy is simple, do what you can do reduce heat gain, recover heat for reuse, such as hot water, use more efficient appliances. And you know what? It is possible to build a great, energy efficient house, with low or no utility bills which does not require the grid or contribute to pollution and the production of greenhouse gases, notable CO2. And, this the most important, it is possible to do it for the same or less money than it would cost to build a conventional house.

Example 4: I can't emphasize this enough. I did it. My overall costs for a higher quality house, which exceeds every standard for building codes, including the cost of Phovoltaics is lower than a conventional house of the same size(square footage) and volume. In fact, mine has about 35% more usable volume because of the roof design.

Example 5: Any person who owns a simple scientific calculator, has more computing power at a higher speed than the Apollo capsules or the lunar landers had. And a brand new scientific calculator costs a few bucks, not millions as did the computers used the early space program. Why? Because advances are made on a continuing basis. The same could be true for housing and transportation if any effort is made at all. And that is what I am doing.

Further, it is not my intention to sequester these technological and cost-saving opportunities out in the remote desert for the use of a handful of privileged researchers, but to make it available to average people and families who so desperately need some relief from the cost of living right now.

In addition, there is a new climate of job outsourcing, sending jobs to other countries who have a lower cost of living. If the well-paid designers, engineers and researchers of this society do not focus on solutions which can reduce costs and improve the quality of life for people in general, they will most like join the ranks of the newly unemployed. And then it will be very difficult for them to implement any measure to save money. Ask someone who is over the age of 60 what it means to "prime the pump".

And finally, if the mundane problems people face are addresed, the public might feel a bit more generous regarding the funding of more esoteric goals, such as space research. At the very least, a lot will be learned about how to build better, lower cost, less resource-consuming habitats for space activities. We can do all of these things at the same time. We can make advances and save money.

2004-Mar-27, 12:24 AM
The posts here have been in my mind for the last few days......

1) Tom2Mars - please keep thinking outside the box, we need people to do more of this.

2) NOTHING IS SAFE. Everything has risk. Safety can be engineered into a design, but first we need the new ideas.

2004-Mar-28, 09:57 PM

Thank you for your comments. You know, I didn't intend to think outside the box, it's just that the holes in it were so big, I seemed to wander outside and then realized that it might need some fixin'.


When I was young and the Moon landings happened, we(schoolkids) were told that someday, if we worked real hard, some of us might get to go to Mars in the late 70's or early Eighties. That same encouragement is handed out today to the current crop of students. Except, the landing date being dangled in front of them has been stretched out to 30 and 40 years into the future. Should we tell the current kids that "someday, when you have children, they might be the ones to go to Mars"?

I don't think it's right to keep pushing the date out farther and farther. It has to be done now, within our lifetimes, or there will be no more space program!

And with the Shuttle winding down and no easy replacement in sight, there certainly seems to be room for new ideas.

2004-Mar-31, 08:33 PM
we dont really need to a.s.a.p :o

2004-Apr-01, 05:40 AM

2004-Apr-01, 09:46 AM
With the fabulous performance of the rovers Spirit and Opportunity, the question of whether, or rather when a manned mission would take place, was bound to be asked. There is also talk of returning to the moon. Several nations are planning lunar missions. There is no doubt in my mind as to whether we should have a manned mission or not. We have to go for it. Sure there will be risks.. tragedies have occured.. we lost seven brave astronauts last year. Not to mention the Challenger disaster, the Appollo 1, and disasters in the Soviet/Russian programme as well.
Yes the Moon is not Mars.. Mars is a hundred times further away. The time of travel at present is estimated to be something like two yrs or thereabouts for a round trip. I don't think it will happen in a hurry. As I understand it, NASA has planned two more probes/rovers in '07. With the completion of the ISS, NASA will then look to a manned mission. I think it should happen within our life times. I'm not sure about this ASAP approach. Yes if we merely want speed records and the like, why the heck not. But then this is not something for the heck of it. I think it should be ASSAP ( A Soon and Safe As Possible) What do u guys say?

2004-Apr-03, 01:54 AM
Aw, GEE folks...Faster doesn't necessarily mean more dangerous.

Take Karate for example. The way you break a board is to focus past the board, past the goal, then without thinking, just release, fast muscle fibers, root ganglia synapse's, snap out and KRACK!, the board is shattered. And not a splinter or bruise on the hand.

Sometimes faster is better!

The inverse of faster is the mundane, the normal the so-called safe way. For example, nothing says contented cows like the comfortable, regular, ho-hum drudgery of the commute to work. Wrong!! In the U.S. alone, about 150 people per day die in car accidents. We lose as many people in less than 3 weeks from car accidents than died in the Trade Towers on Sept. 11th. Add up all the wrecked cars from those 3 weeks, and you get about the same tonnage as in the pile of rubble where the Towers used to stand.

Not counting the tragic pad loss in Russia after their big moon rocket explosion, we've lost as many astronauts in the entire history of space flight as we do on U.S. roads from 9 AM to 12:10 PM on just one average day. Anyone who thinks that each life is sacred, and not a single life should be at risk before we explore the cosmos, should give up your day jobs and start lobbying for mass transit or something even better.

And besides, I can think of a half-dozen safer ways to get to-and-from space than the current antiquated techniques are capable of. I could tell ya', but that would be spoon-feeding and then I'd have to throw you across my shoulder and burp you.

Brainstorm, be creative, accept no losses, improve on the system, challenge assumptions, accept personal responsibility for positive change and implement it. Don't just accept NASA's abilities as the status-quo and give up and crawl back into the cave.

2004-Apr-27, 03:51 AM
I fully support what tom is trying to do here. We've talked before about this and to all in the forum (correct me if i'm wrong here tom) He's just trying to start a movement of sorts. Establish an idea of increasing effeciency in an extremely easy manner. It just takes a little effort and collaboration. We can be a part of that collaboration. A voice. An influence on those around us. Best part about it is that Tom has lots of ideas of how to do it. Hell!!! He's done it himself with his own house!!! What he's saying here is that there is absolutely no reason why it can't happen right now. It just needs to be done. Why the hell not???

Simple concept; increase societal effeciency/ standard of living and you get an increase in available resources/ man power/ people willing to devote time to larger more outrageous goals. e.g. terraforming mars, interstellar travel, moon bases, etc. This kind of goals are going to take some massive resource management which starts at home. We can do this people...just needs to start.

How close am I Tom?

2004-Apr-27, 05:58 AM
Tom, man if you can come up with a cheaper and safer system than the current antiquanted one, you can tell me and I'll burp myself!

I can only think of a ISS Moon shuttle. With no re-entry, it would rely only on Soyaz, is that safer than a shuttle readaption?

A lunar base launched in peices to the ISS Lunar shuttle to move the pieces and assemblers. First tasks along the lines of establishing a radar system and a sheltered Nursery. I don't know how many plants have been grown on the moon (I think some bacteria survived on a ranger probe).

So any sort of Radar, solar energy and nursery adepts, giving way to jobs. Man, I would work on the moon for a month or two, so long as I had a life to come back to on earth.

Next, shopping. When you establish a shopping Mall on the moon, you tap into the basic desire of women to shop, and you will have a gold rush. (women on moon = men on moon)

Cheap accomodation and work and you will have no shortage of population.

Solar power, and what ever industry that can be carried out on the moon, rather that the expense of a earth launch. But yeah Tom, if you can get to the ISS cheaper than Soyaz and a shuttle from there, maybe in perpetual orbit, so actual fuel reqiurements are reduced to the Earth launch you'll be on a winner!

Not being an engineer, like I said, I'll burp myself.

2004-May-01, 06:20 AM
Sphinx on Apr 27
Simple concept; increase societal effeciency/ standard of living and you get an increase in available resources/ man power/ people willing to devote time to larger more outrageous goals. e.g. terraforming mars, interstellar travel, moon bases, etc.

Exactly! All money spent on space activities gets spent here on earth by folks living in houses, using utilities, eating food and driving to the labs that use utilities. The trick would be to increase efficiency, save money and use that money to pay the space workers who also are using the efficient techniques. For example, let's assume you want to build a habitat on the Moon/Mars, where no utility grid exists. It would be good to practice building habitats...I mean homes here on Earth which are more utility independent. That way you can improve the needed technology a bit at a time, while making money off of housing. The house is something everybody needs, and it is the single largest profit item anyone purchases.

There is a simple exponential expression to describe how much money you could make over a given period of time. Right now, a builder might make 10% profit on a house and assume it takes about 4 months to build a house. That would result in 3 build cyles per year. Also assume the first house costs $100,000(us dollars). So,
Cycle #1- Month 1 to Month 4: $100,000 cost and selling price of $110,000.

Take this money and build the next house for $110,000, and make 10% profit on that. Also, make a small improvement in energy efficiency, such as insulating the hot water pipes.
Cycle #2- Month 5 to Month 8: $110,000 cost and selling price of $121,000. Repeat.
Cycle #3- Month 5 to Month 8: $121,000 cost and selling price of $133,100.
Therefore, a 10% improvement over 3 cycles equals an overall profit of 33.1%
That can be expressed as 1.1(1 plus 10%) raised to the exponent of 3(number of cycles), or,
1.1^3 = 1.331

Now what if you start using a facility to preassemble the building components in forms/jigs in a structure that is out of the weather. Now you don't have to stop construction because of the rain, and quality control can be improved. Assume construction time is reduced to 3 months. That translates into 4 build cycles per year. Now the equation becomes:
1.1^4 = 1.46 which represents an overall profit of nearly 50% in 1 year.

I should point out that the Misawa corporation can preassemble all the components for a house in 1 week! With the on site assembly and inspections, total time from materials to turnkey is 1 month. That would be 12 build cycles per year. But let's keep plodding for awhile.

The building system I have designed has a simple geometry change which requires 15% less materials than a conventional house with the same square footage. There is also a corresponding 15% reduction in labor costs, because now your workers aren't handling so many materials. This helps to reduce the overall cost to build a house by roughly 10%(because some other costs are incurred besides materials and labor, such as site development, permits and impace fees). If you charge the same sale price, you now get an additional (recovered/saved) profit of 10% on top of your regular 10%. Now the equation becomes:
1.2^4 = 2.07

You have doubled your money in 1 year. But don't forget, you are handling 15% less materials with 15% less labor, so you can reduce construction time by 15%. That shaves 2 weeks off of your 3 month build time(12 weeks). Now you can finish each house in 10 weeks, which gives you 5 build cycles per year. Now the equation becomes:
1.2^5 = 2.488 or, ˜2.5 times better. An increase of 150% per year. 10 years of that would result in:
1.2^50 = 9100 times as much money as you started with. Or, $100,000 x 9100 = $910 million dollars.

If you made improvements and dropped the build time to 2 months, you get 6 build cycles/year and 60 total build cycles in 10 years:
1.2^60 = an improvement of 56,348 over your starting amount of $100,000 for a total of 5.6 billion dollars.

So, as you can see, if you can save an initial amount of people a few thousand dollars each year, every 20 to 30 people who become the "savers" could finance the start of another building sequence that generates profit. The same "savers" could start another sequence the next year. The money adds up! And that money can pay for the space activities.

zephyr46, it's 2 in the morning on Friday night here, forgive me for postponing a description of the launch system till my next visit, in day or so.

Later Everybody!

2004-May-04, 01:37 PM
The money adds up! And that money can pay for the space activities.

I'm right behind the principle but would it really work in practice? It sounds like you're assuming builders can increase their return on their investment but then they plough their excess profit into space research. What's going to make them do that? Won't they just make more money and keep it?

If you make the investment in space compulsory, how's that different to a tax? And a tax on efficiency at that. What's the incentive to increase profits if the increase all goes to someone else? Not everyone will share your enthusiasm for space.

2004-May-04, 01:55 PM
I don't think it would be demanded that their extra profits go to a specific cause. If eveyone's standard of living is higher and the amount of excess is greater than the cost of living to a degree much greater than it is now, everyone will be more willing to invest more money in support of other programs, such as space exploration. Also, if we owned the company, the excess would go to whatever we wanted. Not to our pockets but to fund our space initiative. Yeah?

2004-May-04, 04:31 PM
Fair enough. If we owned the company then we could make sure the excess profit went to the right place.

But I'm not sure that if everyone's standard of living was higher, the excess would be invested in "good causes". Isn't it more likely that the excess would be invested in more stuff and gadgets? ;)

But the principle is right and I think that increased efficiency is the way forward. I know that a generation ago the concept of automation and labour-saving devices promised us a life of leisure and fine arts :) but that hasn't really happened. We just find more distractions to fill in the time we've saved. But a change in priorities and better use of time and resources should, in theory, allow us to focus more on the important things. All we need to do, as a species, is to agree on what's important!

2004-May-04, 07:42 PM
Well, if we could get the government to agree to a %age funding, instead of a $ funding, then increasing wealth would be a good option.

For example, if the gov't agreed that 1% of taxes would go to space industrialization, then all of us would be driven to increase the wealth of our countries. Heck, Tom2Mars's plan would be one of the best ways of increasing wealth.

On the other hand, saving resources, for the sake of saving resources, is still an excellent idea. For example, if we wiped out your electricity bill, you would either spend, invest, or save your money. All three are good for you. Investing (especially in wealth-increasing ideas or space industrialization) is good for everyone.

Galaxy dweller
2004-May-05, 04:11 AM
At first glance it may seem that calls to change human attitude to things, to increase efficiency, to curb waste etc. are just wishful thinking. But in reality, I think, such appeals as those made by Tom2Mars are absolutely necessary and useful. It may seem that we are just a small forum of space enthusiasts, but progress begins with ideas. We have friends, children, colleagues and other contacts. We talk to them, we spread ideas and, like seeds, they may sprout if they fall on good soil. We all know that in business "word of mouth" is often believed the best advertisement. So, Tom's ideas will definitely bear fruit through this word of mouth phenomenon. I fully support the A.S.A.P.

2004-May-05, 04:50 AM
I have a quote you may find interesting, it is from the 'Earth has a second moon' forum.

Fri 2 April
Hello Neil,

Thanks for your note.

We worked on a Mars sample return scenario with Boeing for NASA, and have been refining designs for robotic Near Earth Asteroid exploration and landing missions, but not a sample return mission. Since we began analyzing these missions and related costs in 1997, our capabilities and knowledge have grown, and our estimates have been somewhat declining from the original $25 million for a simple NEA exploration mission to probably less than $20 million today - this would cover your idea of a camera at a NEA. We recently did a preliminary conceptual design for a simple lunar lander and concluded the cost might be a low as $35 million. I am just guessing that a sample return to earth orbit from a Near Earth Asteroid or similar non-cometary orbit would be between $20 and $35 million. This is in comparison to $250 million or more for NASA to do it.

Hope that helps.

Did you see our announcement of a $43 million contract for microsats this week?

Onward and upward!

Jim Benson

This is from SpaceDev.

I agree whole heartedly with you galaxy dweller, Tom2Mars, your posts are insightful, positive and demonstrate "real world" science. Pragmatic and passionate.

2004-May-05, 05:38 AM
Thanks, zephyr46! And everyone else too. I'm still updating the launch vehicle descriptions. I actually found some interested parties who might wish to share in building it, so I have been busy on that this week.

And Re- the quote from Jim Benson,
I am just guessing that a sample return to earth orbit from a Near Earth Asteroid or similar non-cometary orbit would be between $20 and $35 million.* This is in comparison to $250 million or more for NASA to do it.

Now, if I could just find some free moments to get in touch with Jim, and see if I could help him reduce his costs and overhead by 60% to 80%, then that mission cost could be reduced down to $4 million to $14 million dollars. That might be covered by the savings from less than 1,000 space enthusiasists in less than 1 year. Or the profits from less than 200 homes. I believe the Misawa corporation makes that many homes in 2 days.

2004-May-05, 05:54 AM
SpaceDev (http://www.spacedev.com/newsite/templates/homepage.php?pid=2)

I just went through the investor contact. I still don't know the minimum investment. But if anyone has some nouse about them, and can formulate a Trust agreement, I would happily invest. Some money into the companies and some towards projects. I haven't heard from the Planetary Society about COSMOS 1, but I think they would probably support a space developement strategy.

My ivestment focus has been towards low income ethical investment, but I want a clean tech sector investment that supports excellent technology, while still ethical (like Google) maybe Intel ? With a focus on comapanies like Space Dev!

I'm into it? Any ideas ?

Lets do this, and lets do this right!