# Is this wise or appropriate?

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2 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Way to miss the point; it's investor's not the tax payer.

If I missed a point, please provide information to set me straight. I thought NASA was publicly funded.

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9 minutes ago, joigus said:

That element plays too.

Mind you, amateur astronauts can fall on our heads. Perhaps irrelevant?

That's my point joigus....would any of us fly on a computer controlled aircraft over long distances? They have pilots, just in case.

ps: Perhaps the neg reps and otherwise were a result of people making this politcal, when it wasn't meant to be political at all.

5 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

If I missed a point, please provide information to set me straight. I thought NASA was publicly funded.

Whether publically funded or otherwise, they are advancing mankind and technology...Be that space exploration, research or tourism.

Edited by beecee
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2 minutes ago, beecee said:

That's my point joigus....would any of us fly on a computer controlled aircraft over long distances? They have pilots, just in case.

ps: Perhaps the neg reps and otherwise were a result of people making this politcal, when it wasn't meant to be political at all.

I couldn't agree more. I think the sooner we make this discussion less political and passionate, the better for the flow of ideas on a topic that interests us all.

I don't want to commit an opinion yet. I want to consider more arguments.

Very interesting topic BTW.

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7 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

What button could they push onboard, that's in any way different from the button they push on the ground?

A professional astronaut has obviously a far greater insight the some filthy rich billionare, or geologist or etacher or whatever.

1 minute ago, joigus said:

I couldn't agree more. I think the sooner we make this discussion less political and passionate, the better for the flow of ideas on a topic that interests us all.

I don't want to commit an opinion yet. I want to consider more arguments.

Very interesting topic BTW.

On the other, after thinking about it more, this flight I suppose is no different then Yuri Gagarin's first orbital, or John Glenn's first orbital....take off, orbital insertion, orbit a number of times, then re-entry and landing. I mean they are not changing course, or docking  or anything...still as anxious as I would be to go, I would love someone of Neil Armstrong's calibre next to me!

6 minutes ago, beecee said:

A professional astronaut has obviously a far greater insight the some filthy rich billionare, or geologist or etacher or whatever.

On the other, after thinking about it more, this flight I suppose is no different then Yuri Gagarin's first orbital, or John Glenn's first orbital....take off, orbital insertion, orbit a number of times, then re-entry and landing. I mean they are not changing course, or docking  or anything...still as anxious as I would be to go, I would love someone of Neil Armstrong's calibre next to me!

PS: The only rep I have given btw, is one positive rep. 😉

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27 minutes ago, joigus said:

I think @Peterkin has a point and should be given a fair hearing before anybody gives them another flurry of neg-reps. I would like to hear more arguments.

Thank you for that.

I don't really have any further arguments.

The only objective one was about the waste and pollution mentioned in my first post. Seems to me, the Earth is fragile enough, and is already orbited by an unconscionable amount of its own squandered resources; it doesn't really need to be an even more reckless playground for the people who benefit most from squandering its resources. If such a stance is considered political, I'm okay with it. If holding it gives me a bad rep, I'm okay with that, too.

My personal opinion regarding these private flights is that I would not willingly be riveted into a vehicle owned by someone whose vehicles occasionally combust spontaneously. But if an autonomous, informed adult wants to take that risk, it's theirs to take. I'm no more concerned with their safety than that of Everest climbers or motorcycle racers.

24 minutes ago, beecee said:

Whether publically funded or otherwise, they are advancing mankind and technology...Be that space exploration, research or tourism.

I do see that NASA, unable to launch its own ferry service for astronauts and scientists, would rather depend on charter flights with a private American company than a Russian government one. (I'm not crazy about the situation where America's space agency has that choice to make, but that wasn't in the OP topic.)

However, I don't see how circus and mail-order business CEO's having a super-expensive carnival ride advances mankind.

Edited by Peterkin
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16 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

However, I don't see how circus and mail-order business CEO's having a super-expensive carnival ride advances mankind.

It's called economics, but I'm loathed to refuse a free ride...

36 minutes ago, beecee said:

A professional astronaut has obviously a far greater insight the some filthy rich billionare, or geologist or etacher or whatever.

But, which button?

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I assume you all know what the Darien gap is.   If I were going to drive to Panama,  and then walk across the gap, arguably the world's most dangerous jungle, to Colombia,   I would want an experienced guide with me,  no matter how intrepid I was, no matter how well equipped and fluent with phrases to charm drug runners and guerillas.

Side note:  Arthur Clarke's space elevator is sorely needed.   Conventional impulse rocketry to LEO is incredibly wasteful and expensive.   Our approach to space is like having cellphones but still getting lunch with a bow and arrow.

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2 hours ago, beecee said:

A professional astronaut has obviously a far greater insight the some filthy rich billionare, or geologist or etacher or whatever.

I think one of us is misunderstanding the other, but I'm not sure if that is you or me.

The point dimreepr and I are trying to make is that you don't have to eliminate the astronaut, you just have to put him in a different chair. That is, a chair in Florida rather than a chair in the spacecraft.

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Hope for no radio interference,  then.

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2 hours ago, Peterkin said:

If such a stance is considered political, I'm okay with it. If holding it gives me a bad rep, I'm okay with that, too.

So kind of you to be willing to fall on your sword for such a noble cause but no one cares if your comment was political or religious or cultural. The point is it is off-topic. beecee is asking about technical risks, not your feeling about worthless rich people, the entertainment industry, or pollution.

Edited by zapatos
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3 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Most modern aircraft are fly by wire, so technically they are all capable of being flown remotely.

FbW refers to avionics internal to the craft.  It doesn't mean remote piloting is possible.  It just means there's no hydraulic tubes or mechanical cabling in the airframe that's carrying a signal to control surfaces.

Edited by TheVat
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17 minutes ago, TheVat said:

Hope for no radio interference,  then.

If that is supposed to throw cold water on the idea of piloting remotely I think you have fallen a bit short.

No space endeavor is risk free. If he is in Florida you can have radio interference. If he is on the spacecraft he can black out when the craft starts spinning. Like with all projects you identify risks and mitigate them. If "radio interference" is a risk that cannot be mitigated then we are in deeper shit than I thought.

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18 hours ago, beecee said:

We could fly an automated jet from the US to Australia, but I'm pretty sure most passengers would still like a pilot up front

But we’re dealing with the ones who would not. It’s not like these people are doing this against their will. Presumably they are properly informed of the risks.

The question is what events on a flight like this requires expert human intervention, and what is the risk of those things happening? And what events would an astronaut be able to recover from?

13 hours ago, beecee said:

If I was a billionare and decided to partake in such an adventure, remote controlled or not, I would love an experienced, fully trained astronaut to be along for security.

But you’re not on the flight.

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6 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Most modern aircraft are fly by wire, so technically they are all capable of being flown remotely.

I disagree.

6 hours ago, dimreepr said:

They all have a pilot; they just don't need to be onboard...

I agree.

The difference is, of course, that fly by wire is only a small part of the system necessary to fly remotely.

Remote telemetry is still very complicated, and all that gear would need to be added to a simple fly by wire air or space craft.
And then there is the time lag which becomes ever more significant with distance.

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3 hours ago, zapatos said:

If that is supposed to throw cold water on the idea of piloting remotely I think you have fallen a bit short.

No space endeavor is risk free. If he is in Florida you can have radio interference. If he is on the spacecraft he can black out when the craft starts spinning. Like with all projects you identify risks and mitigate them. If "radio interference" is a risk that cannot be mitigated then we are in deeper shit than I thought.

Hi,  Z.   I agree on risk.   I was really just saying that remote control (for non-drones,  with humans aboard) has some challenges.  Even planes cruising at a relative snails pace,  at low altitudes, can lose radio contact.   With projectiles shooting through the ionosphere at hypersonic speeds trailing ionized plumes,  and problems that can get critical in a split second, there may be a ways to go.  There could be some alternatives, though,  that mitigated risk -- laser link,  perhaps?

I won't deny that for some of us there's a psychological component where we,  right or wrongly, want that seat-of-the-pants person aboard who lives or dies with us.

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What we each might want for ourselves is not really on the table. It's not us going into the capsule.

I wouldn't. They want to. Whether it's wise or not, it seems to be the right decision for them.

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8 hours ago, Peterkin said:

The only objective one was about the waste and pollution mentioned in my first post. Seems to me, the Earth is fragile enough, and is already orbited by an unconscionable amount of its own squandered resources; it doesn't really need to be an even more reckless playground for the people who benefit most from squandering its resources. If such a stance is considered political, I'm okay with it. If holding it gives me a bad rep, I'm okay with that, too.

On that part of your argument you do have a point. My beef with you was more on the personal political shot you were making about billionares and rich folk. Like I said, I don't really give a stuff about that at this time, but if you want to discuss, start a thread.

On the polution with regards to space shots, whether exploration, science or tourism, there are cleaner means, and I dare say more investigative research into that area is going on as we speak. The other point is that space shots, whether explorative, science or tourism, are not occuring that often. But don't get me wrong, there are many areas that need attention to avoid reaching any tipping point with regards to the environment, and as space endeavours of any kind grow in number, those cleaner methods must be looked at. With more Earth based applications, hasn't Musk concentrated on electric cars?   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giga_Nevada While Musk could be inferred as a eccentric sort of character, I'm sure you'll join with me in congratulating him for his efforts in that area. He also has built a giant solar battery in South Australia...https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/a31350880/elon-musk-battery-farm/

8 hours ago, Peterkin said:

My personal opinion regarding these private flights is that I would not willingly be riveted into a vehicle owned by someone whose vehicles occasionally combust spontaneously. But if an autonomous, informed adult wants to take that risk, it's theirs to take. I'm no more concerned with their safety than that of Everest climbers or motorcycle racers.

🙄 Yes, I  remember similar arguments from you with regards to sport and adventure in general. Your comment on occasionaly combusting, is also relevant to my suggestion that a professional would be nice to be on board, that may see a way out in that or other situations.

8 hours ago, Peterkin said:

I do see that NASA, unable to launch its own ferry service for astronauts and scientists, would rather depend on charter flights with a private American company than a Russian government one. (I'm not crazy about the situation where America's space agency has that choice to make, but that wasn't in the OP topic.)

There has been much progress made in technology since private companies were given the green light.

8 hours ago, Peterkin said:

However, I don't see how circus and mail-order business CEO's having a super-expensive carnival ride advances mankind.

You seem obsessed with billionares and the filthy rich. Space tourism is and will grow. If any of the filthy rich want the ultimate ride, that's their business. You seem rather envious of their position? And of course as space tourism grows, the costs will be more affordable. The airline industry was once only for the rich and famous also. It [space tourism] is part and parcel of our steps into space and beyond.

Now that I've covered your objections and obsessions, can we get back on track?

5 hours ago, zapatos said:

I think one of us is misunderstanding the other, but I'm not sure if that is you or me.

The point dimreepr and I are trying to make is that you don't have to eliminate the astronaut, you just have to put him in a different chair. That is, a chair in Florida rather than a chair in the spacecraft.

I think I understand your position, but as I said, would you fly a fully computer/automated run aircraft across the Pacific, without a professional up at the pointy end? I thought I was an intrepid sort of bloke, but perhaps I'm just a big scaredy cat 😉

I think "The Vat" covers my position very well here.....

59 minutes ago, TheVat said:

I won't deny that for some of us there's a psychological component where we,  right or wrongly, want that seat-of-the-pants person aboard who lives or dies with us.

4 hours ago, swansont said:

The question is what events on a flight like this requires expert human intervention, and what is the risk of those things happening? And what events would an astronaut be able to recover from?

Obviously in this situation none at all. It is fully controlled from the ground. But again, that professional onboard in the event of something happening, just maybe able to offer advice, fix a leak in the space suit or whatever...I'm not really sure. And as I mentioned, when thinking about the situation more, perhaps it is not required. I did say "On the other, after thinking about it more, this flight I suppose is no different then Yuri Gagarin's first orbital, or John Glenn's first orbital....take off, orbital insertion, orbit a number of times, then re-entry and landing. I mean they are not changing course, or docking  or anything...still as anxious as I would be to go, I would love someone of Neil Armstrong's calibre next to me!"

Just a thought on my part.

Edited by beecee
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Isn't one of the objectives to increase the delivery capability by avoiding the need for a crew? Isn't this an example of demonstrating that they are not required? If there is a problem maybe it won't be a pilot needed, but an engineer - or, I suppose, a pilot-engineer but I think the principle lesson that should be taken from examples of repairs done in space is to improve equipment reliability, not insist on taking a crew capable of doing repairs. Equipment reliability is paramount and anticipation of what can go wrong is an essential element of that.

But, as an opinionated aside - I'm of the view that insisting on crews reduces overall capabilities of most space mission objectives... apart from the ones where the ability to take people is a principle mission objective... I suppose like space tourism, except space tourism without a crew can take more paying passengers. Which objective I don't see as either a great leap forward or in any way a necessary stepping stone to less self indulgent and more significant objectives.

Edited by Ken Fabian
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5 minutes ago, beecee said:

My beef with you was more on the personal political shot you were making about billionares and rich folk.

What did I say about them that's so offensive?

1. They're useless in an emergency on a space flight.

2. Their joy-riding does not advance science and technology, but does add to space debris and air pollution.

3. I think that's a waste of resources.

15 minutes ago, beecee said:

Your comment on occasionaly combusting, is also relevant to my suggestion that a professional would be nice to be on board, that may see a way out in that or other situations.

How??? He'd just die, same as on the Challenger.  There is absolutely nothing he could do. I don't know why this happens; it's a technical bug that needs to be corrected.

19 minutes ago, beecee said:

You seem obsessed with billionares and the filthy rich.

I never said "filthy" - you did, at least twice. How come?  AFAIK, they're the only ones who can afford a seat.  unless somebody wins one in a lottery.  10 years from now, it might be as cheap as $100,00 - still a bit out of reach for the average paramedic and short-order cook. Plastic surgeons and stock brokers, I suppose. They won't be able to fly a spaceship, either, but if one place is taken up by an astronaut, it'll be$I33,000, plus a third share in his salary and life insurance premium. That's not politics; that's economics.

I happen to think that money could be put to more productive uses, including more effective ways of promoting science, but that's just opinion.

25 minutes ago, beecee said:

If any of the filthy rich want the ultimate ride, that's their business.

Funny, that's exactly what I've been saying all along. They're grownups; presumably they know the risk; if they want to assume that risk according to the terms of their contract, whether that's wise or not, it's perfectly appropriate for them to do so.

I have concerns, but that's not one of them.

29 minutes ago, beecee said:

Space tourism is and will grow.

At least until Cape Canaveral is under 10' of ocean. https://www.climatecentral.org/news/cape-canaveral-launch-sites-threatened-by-rising-seas

45 minutes ago, beecee said:

can we get back on track?

When were we ever off?

Do you think this is wise or appropriate?

No. Yes.

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30 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

What did I say about them that's so offensive?

1. They're useless in an emergency on a space flight.

Your every second word seems to be less then complimentary about the filthy rich.

Yes, and with the flight in question, only one was a billionare. Did you see the rundown on each passenger? Or were you not interested? And of course, hence the need of an astronaut.

30 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

How??? He'd just die, same as on the Challenger.  There is absolutely nothing he could do. I don't know why this happens; it's a technical bug that needs to be corrected.

Probably, but as a professional, and like Armstrong in Gemini VIII, some quick thinking, and you never know.

30 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

3. I think that's a waste of resources.

Perhaps, so? Musk as I pointed out, while argueably eccentric, has done a fair bit to help the environment, one of your valid points.

30 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

I never said "filthy" - you did, at least twice. How come?

Yes I did...a term of endearment actually,☺️ I have nothing against anyone with money or without money. I also call myself an old fart sometimes, or an old bastard, more terms of endearment.

30 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

AFAIK, they're the only ones who can afford a seat.  unless somebody wins one in a lottery.  10 years from now, it might be as cheap as $100,00 - still a bit out of reach for the average paramedic and short-order cook. Plastic surgeons and stock brokers, I suppose. They won't be able to fly a spaceship, either, but if one place is taken up by an astronaut, it'll be$I33,000, plus a third share in his salary and life insurance premium. That's not politics; that's economics.

Airlines and air flights were also once just for the filthy rich, now [before covid 19] there are thousands of flights every day with 2, 3 or 400 people on each flight. In other words most people now days, with a bit of economic sense, saving etc, can or will be able to afford a flight.

30 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

I happen to think that money could be put to more productive uses, including more effective ways of promoting science, but that's just opinion.

See Elon Musk and what he has done and as I mentioned. And obviously what any person does with their money is there business. I would love the entire world's militarisitc expenditure to be put into science, but guess what? it won't or is unlikley to happen.

30 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Funny, that's exactly what I've been saying all along. They're grownups; presumably they know the risk; if they want to assume that risk according to the terms of their contract, whether that's wise or not, it's perfectly appropriate for them to do so.

I have concerns, but that's not one of them.

Yes, they all know the risk. I was suggesting how I would feel and what I would want, if I was lucky enough to be a candidate for such a flight.

30 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Is Cape Canaveral the only space port in the world?

I'm all for protecting the environment, and there is much to be and should be done. I actually have a personal interest in it. What are you suggesting? Stop all space endeavours? Or just the tourism type as undertaken by the filthy rich? Remember the filthy rich were also the only ones participating in normal airline flights in the early days of the 20th century.

Edited by beecee
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43 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

What did I say about them that's so offensive?

43 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

When were we ever off?

And please don't be obtuse. The words are there for all to see no matter how much you dance.

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16 minutes ago, beecee said:

Probably, but as a professional, and like Armstrong in Gemini VIII, some quick thinking, and you never know.

Only if there were actions they could take that would do something.

Quote

this flight I suppose is no different then Yuri Gagarin's first orbital, or John Glenn's first orbital

Other than 50+ years of experience and advances in technology

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22 minutes ago, beecee said:

Your every second word seems to be less then complimentary about the filthy rich.

I didn't count them, but I know "filthy" isn't one I generally employ, as I don't consider t a term of endearment, and I have an unsubstantiated suspicion they don't, either.

Why do you think I should be complimentary about the super rich?

22 minutes ago, beecee said:

Airlines and air flights were also once just for the filthy rich, now [before covid 19] there are thousands of flights every day with 2, 3 or 400 people on each flight. In other words most people now days, with a bit of economic sense, saving etc, can or will be able to afford a flight.

22 minutes ago, beecee said:

es, and with the flight in question, only one was a billionare. Did you see the rundown on each passenger? Or were you not interested?

Indeed I did. He paid for all the seats. He is doing it for a hospital, which is very nice - but not a pre-requisite for space jaunts.

22 minutes ago, beecee said:

s Cape Canaveral the only space port in the world?

No, there are lots, not heavily used. But that's the SpaceX is launching from.

7 minutes ago, zapatos said:

The words are there for all to see no matter how much you dance.

Edited by Peterkin
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58 minutes ago, swansont said:

Other than 50+ years of experience and advances in technology

The point I'm making is that at least in the case of Gagarin's flight, it was all controlled from the ground, with onboard controls locked and I think the same applied also with Glenn.

55 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

I didn't count them, but I know "filthy" isn't one I generally employ, as I don't consider t a term of endearment, and I have an unsubstantiated suspicion they don't, either.

Why do you think I should be complimentary about the super rich?

Perhaps I'm more uncouth than you and probably less pretentious also.

I'm not questioning your non existant compliments of the filthy rich, I'm questioning your rather boring critique and obsession with them, whenever you see an opportunity. You fail to comment on Elon Musk's good work and environmental concerns that I linked to.

Here's another....

55 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

You again are playing games and being obtuse. The question is in regards to who can and who cannot afford to fly...you avoided that. On the question of airline contribution to pollution and the environment, sure, work needs to be done to reduce emmisions and thankfully work is being done, and technology improved to reduce emmisions.https://www.edf.org/climate/aviation Again, another question for you to avoid..are you suggesting the elimination of airflight?

Edited by beecee
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1 hour ago, beecee said:

The question is in regards to who can and who cannot afford to fly you avoided that.

No. You pointed out that at first, only a very few people made use of air transportation because of the cost. Then as it became cheaper, more and more people did. Which is how the aviation industry grew and grew,  consumed more and more more fossil fuel and produced more and more CO2, noise pollution, bird deaths, airport sprawl, etc. and a lot of peripheral damage due to tourism and the industries serving it.

1 hour ago, beecee said:

Again, another question for you to avoid..are you suggesting the elimination of airflight?

Not an altogether risible idea, but of course civilization is dependent on it now. Still, the Covid crisis did reduce much of the frivolous flying and made the world a little cleaner and safer for a while. There isn't much to recommend a pandemic!

As with air traffic, so also with space traffic: I disapprove of using such incidentally harmful and potentially deadly tools as playthings.

1 hour ago, beecee said:

You fail to comment on Elon Musk's good work and environmental concerns

I didn't think it was on topic. His good works won't prevent anyone burning to death in a defective vehicle. Once the mechanical problems are corrected, I'm sure electric cars will be safe, clean and wonderful.  In space, bailing out doesn't seem like an option.

Edited by Peterkin

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