PDA

View Full Version : Sea exploration vs Space exploration



jumpjack
2008-Aug-06, 02:41 PM
In principle there were oars.
Then the sails came.
Finally the engines appeared.

It was a matter of several thousands of years before Man was able to proplery control and direct his ships where he wanted.

Let's try comparing actual space-navigation to sea-navigation: which era are we in?

Well... in soars-navigation era, or even before!! :doh:
Just think of it: today we send a spacecraft out of Earth orbit.... and that's all, no way of properly driving it; we can only use "oars" time by time for some corrective maneuvers, but the ship trip is actually total dependant on streams (gravitational rather than water, but just... "streams"). We can't turn back or even just stop, we can only go ahead. And once we arrive to our destination, all we can do to stop is... wait for natural forces to stop us (atmosphere drags against spacecraft or parachute).

And I didn't mention yet HOW we get away from Earth! We need a vehicle some dozens of times bigger than our actual ship, just to be brought far enough from Earth to be "catch" by "streams"; i.e., our ship is at the beginning made up of 95% fuel / useless mass, and just 5% ship! It's like we need a 20-meters truck to bring our dinghy to the beach... with a little difference: once we get back from our trip on the ship... we can't use the truck to get home, as we discarded it!


Guys, this is really primitive! How can we just think going (again) to Moon or even to Mars with such a technology?!? :doh:

Would you ever try going from Europe to America on an oar-ship... even if you were Colombo?!? He, at least, "waited" till he had sails-navigation available!

I really think we will be eventually able to have decent space trips only once we'll have needed technology to build a spacecraft as big as a "sea-craft" (ok, "boat"...), where some dozens of people can live & work together... just like it was on Nina, Pinta & S. Maria!

40 years passed... but we are STILL thinking about going to the moon byban oars-ship with a 4 men crew! :shifty:

We really need some new, good, big discovery...

NEOWatcher
2008-Aug-06, 02:48 PM
40 years passed... but we are STILL thinking about going to the moon byban oars-ship with a 4 men crew! :shifty:
Well? You did say it took several thousands of years to get past the oar stage. So; we might be right on schedule. ;)

kpesanka
2008-Aug-06, 03:02 PM
Just think of it: today we send a spacecraft out of Earth orbit.... and that's all, no way of properly driving it; we can only use "oars" time by time for some corrective maneuvers, but the ship trip is actually total dependant on streams (gravitational rather than water, but just... "streams"). We can't turn back or even just stop, we can only go ahead. And once we arrive to our destination, all we can do to stop is... wait for natural forces to stop us (atmosphere drags against spacecraft or parachute).

This isn't entirely accurate. It's not that we can't maneuver our ship, but rather that there is typically no need for continued thrust. We COULD load up a spacecraft with a huge amount of fuel and zip and zoom around quite a bit, but it is neither economically feasible nor is it needed.

It isn't that we don't have the technology or knowledge, but rather that it is wasteful. Why not use gravity to assist us? Even modern ocean vessels use currents to assist them in order to conserve fuel and decrease the length of their journey. We're doing the same, and correcting our course where needed.

jumpjack
2008-Aug-06, 04:43 PM
This isn't entirely accurate. It's not that we can't maneuver our ship, but rather that there is typically no need for continued thrust. We COULD load up a spacecraft with a huge amount of fuel and zip and zoom around quite a bit, but it is neither economically feasible nor is it needed.

It isn't that we don't have the technology or knowledge, but rather that it is wasteful.

Exactly: it's just a matter of energy availability. If we could count on wide amount of energy, we shouldn't even worry about wasting it (just like you don't care turning on the engine on your ship once you'r bored sailing around :) )


Why not use gravity to assist us? Even modern ocean vessels use currents to assist them in order to conserve fuel and decrease the length of their journey. We're doing the same, and correcting our course where needed.

We have to wait right conditions (planets alignment) to be able to use "gravitational streams" to reach planets, and for far planets we even need gravity-assist manuevers, due to "missing engine". (It's like going into a whirlpool with our ship, to get enough energy to be launched far enough! :lol: )

Not to mention the final orbit insertion: imagine such a method applied to a boat arriving to harbour!

goatboy
2008-Aug-07, 06:30 AM
Yup, it takes a budget of a modern superpower to send a few guys to space. Without some massive technological breakthrough, those analogies comparing the space program to Christopher Columbus will remain erroneous.

Space exploration must be viewed in different context.


The fact is Columbus could have landed in the New World naked, and still survive independently from the mother country. Emotionally of course, I see multiple similarities, whether emotions translate to reasonable logistical accomplishment is a different subject entirely.

publiusr
2008-Aug-08, 05:42 PM
Here is where we are in terms of sea exploration:

************************************************** *****************

In the Viking days there was a great leader named Mike Griffin.

He promised a big new vessel named Ares Fiv--I mean a longship.

"We might even discover a new world. But to build this--we have to change. Our former leader gave all of you individual raiders your own logs to go down streams on minor missions.
But to build my longship, I need you to give me most of those logs so I can assemble this great ship that is so much more capable."

"Me no wanna! Me keep my log."

"Me too! That longship sounds too big--we don't need it. I don't want to part with my Delta Two--I mean my own log."

"Mine! Mine!"

And that's how the Vikings didn't go anywhere...