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asnieze
2009-Feb-01, 06:33 PM
I wonder how many jobs the United Space Federation in Star Trek was responsible for? Even before contact with the Vulcans, Romulans and Trebbles, I'm sure it was many. Comparitively, how many jobs are all the current space programs/research facilities creating? I know that only the cream of the crop get these jobs (rightfully so), but how far off are we from a space-based economy? Would this require the mass-colonization of space? There are plenty of materials to mine out there, factories to process the materials, service jobs to maintain equipment, the sale of the mined materials on the stock market (I can't wait to hear "Martian H2O is up 3 points today in heavy trading"). Production of all materials used in space would require someone to make them. I've been thinking a lot of what a space-based economy would look like and how we would get there. Education would have to change too, as being a teacher, I can guarantee we aren't turning out many citizens ready for space, thanks to State testing laws and No Child Left Behind. In my 8th grade class, "25 years of NASA" movie created a slumber party. So, what would it look like, and more importantly, what would it take? I would much rather have an economy that works to explore the universe than one that propagates the accumulation of material wealth and the burning of fossil fuels.

Ronald Brak
2009-Feb-02, 12:53 AM
Comparitively, how many jobs are all the current space programs/research facilities creating?

Well, none. If people didn't currently have jobs in space programs/research they would probably have jobs somewhere else. Of course there is a very good chance you are actually asking how many people are employed in space programs/research and I'm afraid I don't know the answer to that question.

JonClarke
2009-Feb-02, 11:57 AM
Globally governments spend 62 billion dollars on space in 2007-08. The number of countries active in space has doubled over the past decade to 40. http://www.spacemart.com/reports/Wor...grams_999.html

Non government expeditures are even larger. The global space sector was worth over a quarter of a trillion in 2007 ($251 billion) and grew at 11% over 2006. http://www.spacenewsfeed.co.uk/2008/...il2008_25.html

How many jobs is this worth world wide? Hundreds of thousands, several million? I don't know. But put together civil and military communications, navigation, remote sensing and all the industries and servides that support them and depend on them, and it will be quite a lot.

Jon

mugaliens
2009-Feb-02, 09:37 PM
We're well on our way towards a space-based economy, at least in some respects.

Until the space population is appreciable in numbers to the population as a whole, though, our space-based economy will only be a small percentage of our economy as a whole.

Francisco
2009-Feb-05, 07:09 AM
Currently, it takes huge expenditure of resources to maintain a tiny number of people in low earth orbit. There are plenty of places on earth where nobody lives. Massive space colonization is not just around the corner.

I'm not sure Star Trek is the best place to learn economics.

KaiYeves
2009-Feb-05, 11:09 PM
I don't know if this is the right place to say it, but The Dream is Alive was the first feature film filmed in space back in 1985. It was a documentary, and since then, a few other documentaries, both IMAX and otherwise have been filmed up there, and apparently some producers showed great interest in "Getaway Specials" when they were first announced... so what happened? The crew usually have a free day or two up there when they finish everything, so they could have them film a few scenes for a non-documentary movie, right?

Suppose they do a blockbuster about a hurricane hitting Somecity, USA.

SCENE ONE, ON THE ISS:

(Astronaut 1 looks out the window)
Astronaut 1: That's some storm forming down there. MOCR says it's Category 5 and headed right for Somecity.

(Astronaut 2 hurries to the window)
Astronaut 2: Oh... my... god...

Astronaut 1: What is it?

Astronaut 2: My family lives in Somecity!

(Menacing shot out window at hurricane below [CGI if there isn't actually a hurricane visible])

END SCENE

Shoot a few more of Astronaut 2 looking worried and intercut it with the main story about his family trying to survive the hurricane in Somecity. Take a camera to the landing site and film the shuttle carrying Astronaut 2 landing. After he's adjusted to Earth again, film him hugging the actors who play his family on the landing strip. With how skilled at everything else the people in the Program are, I'm sure some are decent actors.

raptorthang
2009-Feb-05, 11:32 PM
I'm a fan of unmanned space exploration but question the positive impact of manned exploration on science and the economy. Unfortunately in the USA the federal funding for sciences is a finite pie. I'm a geologist and have worked for the Geological Survey of Canada... Our couterpart in the USA, the USGS, has been devastated by cut backs in the last 2 decades. So have many areas of pure research that were not military or space related.

The Shuttle and the ISS, rightly or wrongly, have almost become swear words as they soak up billions and other research is cut off of millions.

Any 'space' economy, outside of that of governments with bloated bureaucracies, is confined to communications and related fields. I don't see this changing for a couple of decades.

mugaliens
2009-Feb-06, 12:36 PM
With how skilled at everything else the people in the Program are, I'm sure some are decent actors.

Well, at least with respect to the earlier astronauts, I believe the correct term is "ham."

JonClarke
2009-Feb-08, 05:32 AM
The Shuttle and the ISS, rightly or wrongly, have almost become swear words as they soak up billions and other research is cut off of millions.

I'll bet you can't name a single program that has been cut back anywhere in the world as a result of the ISS and shuttle programs.


Any 'space' economy, outside of that of governments with bloated bureaucracies, is confined to communications and related fields. I don't see this changing for a couple of decades.

The commerical space sector is four times that of the government sector including the military. It is not just communications, it includes remote sensing, space weather, position fixing and surveying, and meteorology.

Jon