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Photon Guy

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  1. Nope animals are just consumers, it's the plants that are the producers.
  2. So from what I know about the eco system is that it's got producers and consumers. The producers are the plants that take in sunlight to undergo photosynthesis and to grow. That provides a food source for consumers, the consumers are the animals that eat the plants and animals that eat other animals. So the food chain starts with plants and then herbivores and then predators and so forth. However, the plants are always the producers and the animals, whether they be herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores, are always the consumers. However, I would think there are some cases in which a life form can be both a producer and a consumer. There are some plants that in addition to using photosynthesis will also feed off of other life forms as predators, perhaps the best known example would be the Venus Fly Trap. In addition to the Venus Fly Trap there are other plants that also eat insects so I would think they would be both producers and consumers, is that correct?
  3. Ants are extremely strong for their size. Apparently ants can lift over 1000 times their body weight. As such, Im wondering how ants would be on planets with really high gravity, much higher gravity on earth. They would probably do just fine I would think.
  4. Yes NASA has set the groundwork for SpaceX and other space companies but the way I see it NASA will be playing less and less of a role in space exploration in the future, even if it doesn't go away completely. For now, but Im talking about in the future.
  5. Yes I have thought about buying SpaceX stock as well as Blue Origin stock. But now we have UPS and FedEx that do much of the deliveries too. I know UPS and FedEx mostly deliver packages as opposed to letters but they are both very reliable companies and. people will often use UPS and FedEx over the postal service if they're mailing packages or anything bigger than a letter, even though the postal service mails such stuff too. Furthermore I don't get why we have to pay to use the postal service (if you're mailing a letter you have to put a stamp on it which costs money) if its government provided because something that's government provided means our taxes pay for it, unless you want to consider buying stamps just another type of tax, much like tollbooths on highways. The big limitation with government organizations such as NASA providing space travel is the limitation on how much money the government decides to spend on NASA, very few of our tax dollars go towards NASA like it or not. This isn't the 60s, the 70s, or even the 80s. We're not in the space race with Russia like we used to be. Not just Challenger but also Columbia, and it's not really NASA I blame but the people NASA hired for upper management. Some of the engineers knew that Challenger would be a disaster beforehand and they tried to warn the higher ups but the higher ups wouldn't listen. With Columbia they could've launched a rescue with Atlantis but they didn't, again I blame the people hired as management. NASA has done much to help us learn about space but much of that was done when we were in the space race, we're past that now. You mentioned Buzz Aldrin, one of the men who walked on the moon. That was back during the space race and since then the government has not funded any program to send anybody else to the moon, not since 1972. Why? The biggest reason is the simplest, the government hasn't seen any reason to send anybody back to the moon. But that's how it happens whenever new places are discovered and space is no exception. Just look at history, back when people first started crossing oceans that involved sailing across the ocean on a big ship that were only available to the really rich and really privileged and to the best of my knowledge such ships were provided by the various governments of the day. When the new lands were discovered (the Americas) more and more people wanted to go and private companies started taking over ocean travel. Today you can cross the oceans by simply getting on an airplane and flying across, an airplane that would belong to a commercial company such as Delta, United Airlines, American Airlines, ect. so traveling around the globe has gone the way of the private sector. Like it or not that's how I see it happening with space travel too in the future. That's how its happened in history. Ocean travel used to be very risky when you had to spend months on a ship and sail across so I doubt there were much in the way of private companies investing in that. Then, as ocean travel became more and more safe, and faster, more private companies got into it. Now it's almost entirely private companies that do it. My point is that the future of space travel is going in the direction of the private sector. Not to bash NASA but that's the way it's going.
  6. Like it or not space exploration is going the way of the private sector. As it's been mentioned in this thread there's companies such as SpaceX and Bellend One and no doubt in the future there will be more private space companies still. That's how its always happened with travel and exploration throughout history, it starts out as something that is government funded and then goes the way of the private sector and more and more people are able to do it.
  7. So if Jurassic Park was real I wonder just how it would work out, if it would be a disaster like it was in the movies or if they would be able to make it work and just how successful it would be at producing funds.
  8. Well I'm not sure just how much of a priority it would be to bring samples back from Mars as we already do have samples of Mars in the form of meteorites.
  9. Mount Mckinley is about two thirds the height of Mount Everest so we could use the peak of the mountain to mount the railgun and we could build an elevator in the mountain. And one third of the atmosphere would greatly reduce friction.
  10. I agree on cutting back, the problem is getting enough people to agree so that it's done.
  11. Speaking of Elon Musk, I would like to point out that Howard Wolowitz got to meet him, lucky guy.
  12. In the distant future that could very well be a possibility. True, just like a higher level of regulation was required when automobiles replaced horses and carriages, and when airplanes replaced trains and ships at sea, but we've made such adjustments before so we can do it again. From what I've seen in terms of technological advancements it appears companies do lots of research with the advancements they make. You see it with cars, computers, you name it. Burning through failed rockets, provided they're unmanned, is how you learn from mistakes so you can make better rockets. Granted you shouldn't burn through rockets carelessly but every rocket launched, whether its failed or not, is an opportunity to learn and so the more such rockets you have to burn through the better. Otherwise you have disasters such as Challenger and Columbia, Columbia which happened twenty one years ago today. Imagine if such a disaster happened with SpaceX where people were killed, imagine how it would hurt SpaceX, as such SpaceX would be smart to avoid such stuff at all costs. Let's say there's a car company that produces cars with faulty breaks and it leads to people being killed. Would you buy a car from that company? I sure wouldn't. I've seen it happen with other companies, where their products have turned out to be dangerous, how its hurt the companies. That's why I would want multiple companies not just a few. I would much prefer a monopolistic competition over an oligopoly. Perfect competition would be ideal but that's a pipe dream. State funded still means it's funded by tax dollars so to get more funding that would mean cutting back on other stuff or raising taxes. You do know that both Challenger and Columbia were avoidable, don't you? Especially Challenger. But in both cases NASA knew of the danger and ignored it. But in the past explorative research has been done by companies or by private individuals, the expansion of the USA for instance.
  13. Im arguing for stuff such as space research and dinosaur research to be not just government funded but also for companies to get involved with such stuff. Im not saying government funding should cease altogether but it does have its limitations that I've mentioned before. Maybe even space research and dinosaur research can be combined somehow, they could do science experiments on fossils in space.
  14. It's also important to have the astronauts best interests at heart, something NASA has sadly failed at in the past. But we are going in that direction, of having space commercialized just like it always happens when new avenues of exploration open up to us. It happened with sea travel and exploration of the new world, at first it was just explorers such as Columbus and Cortez that would go on long ocean voyages to explore, and then after the Americas were discovered and settled by the white man, sea travel became very much commercialized with so many people wanting to travel over there. No doubt that will happen with space as well.
  15. Yes and there's also Blue Origin by Jeff Bezos. Both Space X and Blue Origin mainly provides spacecraft to NASA though, which means its tax dollars that pay for their spacecraft. I've yet to hear about Space X or Blue Origin doing any space exploration of their own. Greed might be a motivator but being greedy will work against you in the long run and a smart company will know that. Greed always ends up with you having less and we even have children's stories that teach that lesson. We also see that throughout history, just look at the automobile industry. Many people nowadays including myself prefer Japanese and German cars over American cars because they're made to last, unlike many American cars which are always breaking down and I speak from my own experience. In the late 90s I drove a Ford and it was complete junk. The problem is American car companies got greedy and just wanted to produce and sell as many cars as they could regardless of the quality. That's why I wouldn't a Ford today with a ten foot pole, and Im talking about a Ford made in this day and age not one made in the old days, 1970s and earlier, when Ford did make good vehicles. And like it or not space exploration is going in the direction of being privately funded. We've got companies such as Space X and Blue Origin. In the future going into space might be as simple as getting on a plane, or getting on a bus, or even getting in a car. In a future where spacecraft are as common and as readily available as automobiles I couldn't imagine the space industry not being run by private companies. If people want to stop archaeology or paleontology or any kind of study because of religious reasons than that's an even stronger case for such studies to be taken on by private companies because if such studies are paid for entirely by government funding then those who are against such stuff will vote against it. And if you're concerned about monetary motivations well let's face it, researching costs money and that money has got to come from somewhere. If such research is entirely government funded and you want more funding you've got one of two options, either cut back on other stuff or raise taxes, take your pick. If you want to do the kind of research that the fictional John Hammond did, where are you going to get the funding?
  16. Twenty one years ago today the space shuttle Columbia burned up upon reentry of the Earth's atmosphere due to failure of the heat shield because of damage to a wing from foam breaking loose during launch. All seven astronauts on board were tragically killed. RIP Columbia Crew.
  17. Well by the same token I think a good moon rock or mars rock would be a very valuable commercial property yet we don't see much if any commercial demand for the space program. NASA is entirely government funded and we don't have any private space companies that go into space. If we can create a demand for paleontology with fossils perhaps we can create a demand for the space industry. The problem with something being government funded is that if we are to increase funding the only ways we can do that is if we were to cut back on other stuff that's government funded or by raising taxes, neither of those are popular choices. But we make tons of progress in terms of bettering our lives with space exploration. All sorts of experiments are done in space and all sorts of really useful discoveries are being made, everything from medicine to communications to defense to transportation, you name it. With paleontology though it could be argued that there's not much we could learn from it since dinosaurs are extinct and have been for a long time, unless you want to argue in favor of just increasing our general knowledge in everything including dinosaurs but you still probably wouldn't get much government funding for it. You will most likely always get less government funding for paleontology than you will for NASA and NASA doesn't get a whole lot of funding as it is so I'm thinking that just like with space exploration, the study of dinosaurs works best if its done by private companies that make their profit from consumers. The question is, what can you get out of dinosaur research that you can provide to consumers that would have enough of a demand that they would pay good money for it? Museums come to mind, but you only make so much from running a museum. The only way I see to make a really good profit for paleontology is if we were to have something such as Jurassic Park where we have live dinosaurs, but as we know the Jurassic Park franchise is just movies and is pure fiction, as disappointing as that is.
  18. Good point. To send supplies to the ISS you would only need to reach a velocity of 17000, perhaps less if you're firing from a high altitude, so friction would be less of a problem than if you were firing at escape velocity. The atmosphere is significantly thinner at the peak of Mount Everest than it is at sea level so at such an altitude friction is less of a problem. You might not need to subject your craft to such extreme Gs if you have a railgun with a very long barrel so that acceleration is much more gradual but that it still reaches the desired velocity by the time it leaves the muzzle. Also as TheVat pointed out, you wouldn't need your craft to reach escape velocity as orbital velocity is much lower. That would be an engineering project to design such systems but we're not talking about launching people. A good mechanical system should be able to withstand more Gs than a person. And as I mentioned above, you might not need to subject the system to such extreme Gs. The railgun could be designed so that there's a vacuum in the barrel. The muzzle could be closed, opening only when the craft exits it. The railgun I've seen pictures of have barrels. You could have the railgun permanently stationed at a higher altitude, it could be built on top of a platform or as TheVat said you might be able to use a mountain for support. Crafts containing supplies to be sent into space could be brought up to the railgun by elevator.
  19. I don't see any folder on this forum for paleontology so I thought this would be the best place on this forum to post this. Dinosaurs are fascinating but Im wondering how paleontologists get the funding to do their research. I don't really see much of a demand for such research so most research would not be consumer funded I take it, and to the best of my knowledge the government does not fund such research so Im wondering where the funding comes from.
  20. If you ask me we should've done this a long time ago but here is a video on a plan to bring back samples from Mars.
  21. Some meteors do manage to land without burning up, they're called meteorites, so that goes to show it is possible for an object to pass through the earth's atmosphere at such incredible speeds without burning up. A spacecraft launched by a railgun could have special heat shielding as well as cooling systems. The heat shielding might have to be better than the shielding used now but it could be done. That plus good cooling systems might be adequate to protect against the heat and friction. Also, the spacecraft doesn't have to be launched at ground level. It could be launched from on top of a tall structure or you could even have a railgun with a long enough barrel that by the time it exits the muzzle its well above ground level. A longer railgun could also allow for a more gradual acceleration which would be desirable. The escape velocity on Earth is 24923 MPH so it's about the same speed as meteors hitting the earth's atmosphere that you mentioned. The problems of friction and heat could be solved by what I mentioned above. And also if you launch from a higher altitude the escape velocity is lower so that is another advantage of doing that. The idea of using railguns is to cut fuel costs and the spacecraft being sent by such means would weigh far less because they wouldn't have to lug around all that fuel that would otherwise be used if you were to try to get to orbit the old fashioned way.
  22. Im not sure about the legality of dynamite but I believe anybody with the money can get a tunnel-borer. But regardless, the 2A does not cover such stuff, just like it doesn't cover drugs. Certain drugs you can have access to only if you're a licensed doctor but that otherwise are banned and that's fine because the 2A does not identify any right to access such stuff. The 2A identifies the right to keep and bear arms, not the right to keep and bear other stuff such as dynamite and tunnel-borers and certain dangerous drugs. Because they had access to them when the Constitution, including the 2A was ratified. When the 2A which identifies the right to keep and bear arms, and that's exactly what it does as it doesn't grant the right it identifies it, muskets were the military/police grade guns back then and citizens had full access to them. Today it's semi automatic guns and in some cases full automatic guns that the police and military use so that's what citizens should have access to as those are the arms of today. The arms that are mentioned in the 2A are in reference to whatever the arms of today are. Back when the Constitution was ratified it was muskets, today it's the more advanced guns that I mentioned. Our country's founders weren't dumb, they knew weapons would get more advanced in the future. So if you want to restrict citizens to muskets as some people say the right to keep and bear arms identified by the 2A only applies to muskets, then its only proper to restrict the police and military to muskets and the kinds of guns that were used back then as well. To allow the military access to more advanced guns and not citizens is a double standard. That's exactly what they're needed for, or to put it more precisely, to protect themselves from the government should the government become oppressive. In the USA it's the citizens that are supposed to control the government, not the other way around. The USA was created for the people by the people. We've got many checks and balances in place but the right to keep and bear arms, as identified by the 2A, is a final check and balance. If all else fails the people can revolt against the government should the government become oppressive.
  23. None that I can think of, but the point is that just because the lightspeed barrier can't be broken by conventional means doesn't mean it can't be broken period.
  24. You have that same problem with friction and the heat it generates with any sort of spacecraft that reaches escape velocity. Conventional spacecraft are made to withstand the friction and heat with special heat shielding. A spacecraft sent into space by a railgun could have that same sort of shielding, and it could have cooling systems too. Yes it would need some engines and fuel to maneuver to the station as you point out but not the tremendous fuel that you need to reach escape velocity the way conventional spacecraft do as the railgun would take care of that. But we don't send supplies from the moon to the ISS, we send it from Earth to the ISS. I suppose we could set up a moon base and start mining the moon and producing supplies on the moon that way, but that's a long way off. Lots of supplies. Water for instance. And food that you don't mind having squashed. Food remains edible when it's squashed.
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