[ih] ARPANET and Apollo 11

John Day jeanjour at comcast.net
Thu Mar 12 17:07:07 PDT 2015

Yet another example of mission creep turning into a monster.  Remember all those Walt Disney and 2001 models of a space station and as the jumping off point for the moon?

The ISS can’t be expanded in such a way to do artificial gravity, and is not in the right place to use as a jump off for the moon, and it can’t be moved.

It is an amazing feat, but it doesn’t lay the ground work for the next step.

> On Mar 12, 2015, at 18:36, John Levine <johnl at iecc.com> wrote:
>> in the aftermath of Sputnik 1. Then they needed one cycle of intense
>> systems development, and neither of them suffered from second-system
>> syndrome, ...
> Hmmn.  So we should now compare the Space Shuttle to the Internet.
> For all the glamor of the Apollo program, it was a dead end, sort of
> like building the Pyramids.  We learned that by exerting the kind of
> effort only a motivated government can bring to a project, we could
> send a dozen guys to the moon for a few days each.
> The Atlantic Monthly had an interesting article last month on the
> International Space Station:
> http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/12/5200-days-in-space/383510/
> It's clear we're still in Pyramids mode.  The highly trained staff
> still spend the majority of their time on what might be called not
> dying, maintenance of the equipment and dealing with the effects of
> weightlessness on their bodies.  (For example, everyone gets
> farsighted, and unlike the bone loss, it doesn't reverse when they get
> back.)  Each person in space is supported by dozens of people on the
> ground, and everything they do is planned and scripted from Houston or
> its Russian equivalent.  The ISS has room to do zero gee
> manufacturing, but so far there hasn't been anything to make it
> worthwhile.  Private companies like SpaceX are likely to bring down
> the cost of sending stuff into space from incredibly high to merely
> very very expensive, but I don't see any sort of private space travel
> beyond $100,000 tourist jaunts and perhaps Elon Musk's private trip to
> Mars, where he says he wants to die, preferably not on impact, on
> which he could spend a billion dollars.
> The Internet, on the other hand, turned out to scale magnificently, to
> the point where stuff is so routine and so cheap that we take it for
> granted that our 13 year old kids have $30 networked supercomputers in
> their pockets and we argue about what they should be allowed to do
> with them.
> R's,
> John
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