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Forum » SpaceEngine » Off-topic Discussions » Science vs Military budgets (Where should the money go?)
Science vs Military budgets
CyberItalianDate: Saturday, 15.09.2012, 14:17 | Message # 31
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
Please explain this to me.


I maybe understood that what Areospacefag wanted to mean was that not only it's something EVERYONE can access, but this means that soon or later someone will find a not-so-peacful use for it.

I think that's what he meant, right Areospacefag?

Interpretation is always subjective. >.>
 
AerospacefagDate: Saturday, 15.09.2012, 19:33 | Message # 32
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
Please explain this to me.

This is simple - he can't build this. It is impossible for him as if he wanted to fly to a Mars. Initial concept is too simple - you can't just take a new-old-whatever method of plasma confinement and build it 10 times bigger and claim it to be a nuclear fusion device. The formulas won't work on that scale, you have to invent a new ones. The parameters won't match projection, you have to call for help from scientific community. The cost will rise indefinitely. Whatever this man is proposing for expenditures, multiply it 1000 times, and as for durations - 10 times.

Scientists, thousands of them, worked hard for decades to prove and build 2 concepts of nuclear fusion ("stellarator" invented in US and "tokamak" from USSR). And they have set a goals, a new investments, a new descoveries, thousands of people who have ultimate goal to make the world better, and they all know what they are doing. And I hope in 5-7 years they can definitely say the amount of time we probably have until those magnetic devices will return to the humanity hundreds of billions dollars, to say, 100-fold.

I don't know what's your problem with that, HarbingerDawn, but it seems it's difficult for you to distinguish fiction from reality. Nowadays, it seems possible to build a nuclear rector(or launch vehicle for space satellite) for medium-sized country like Iran or South Korea (with help of other countries), but even bigger administrations can't have a chance of building something that huge.
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Saturday, 15.09.2012, 20:23 | Message # 33
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Those are good points.

But you made a slight error in making one assumption: that everyone here on the forum knows that his ideas are impossible. But most of us don't know that. You're an engineer, but most people on the forum are not, and we don't always know which engineering projects are feasible and which aren't. You could have just made the point in your initial post that his ideas were impossible. And you still have not explained how this ties in to the idea of profit.

Also, sometimes some things which seem to be unrealistic or impossible really are possible. Samuel Langley failed to develop a usable heavier than air craft even with government funding. The Wright brothers succeeded in that same endeavor in their spare time while working in a bicycle shop. Governments and large corporations spend many billions of dollars to develop rockets and spacecraft that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to fly each time. We now know that small private organizations can do much, much better.

Private citizens and small organizations are often capable of brilliant and groundbreaking innovation whereas large companies and governments are more likely to be stagnant and conservative, and/or bounded by established ways of thinking or doing things.
Take Elon Musk for example. In 2002 he started SpaceX after some vague ideas about buying Russian ICBMs didn't work out. So he decided to develop and fly his own orbital launch vehicles. Just 4 years later, in 2006, they had the first test flight of their Falcon 1 rocket. In 2008, it successfully achieved orbit; every subsequent flight of every SpaceX vehicle has been successful. They developed their medium-class Falcon 9 rocket in only 4 years and for $300 million, much less money and time than it would have taken a government (compare to 12 years and $8,000 million dollars for Ariane 5). The Dragon spacecraft, again, took 4 years and $300 million to develop and fly. It has now successfully flown to the space station and back. The total cost for developing both Falcon 1 and Falcon 9, the Dragon spacecraft, building 3 launch sites, a large manufacturing facility capable of supporting a high flight rate, flying 5 Falcon 1's, 2 Falcon 9's, and 1 Dragon, the cost for all of this was less than $800 million and took only 8 years. This development timescale was unprecedented since the Space Race, and completely unprecedented for a startup company. Likewise, the cost for these operations was also unprecedented. No one has ever achieved anything close to this.
Many people thought that these ideas were unrealistic, even impossible. Now, they are reality and part of life. Sometimes it is hard to know exactly what new advancements will be made, or who will make them.

This guy's idea of making a break-even fusion reactor may be unrealistic, but the world is far better off for having people like him who are trying to make things happen, and we need as many of them as we can get.





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AerospacefagDate: Saturday, 15.09.2012, 20:47 | Message # 34
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HarbingerDawn, yeah, well, in the terms of evolution of scientific knowledge these are unavoidable outlays, leading the way of more promising projects (ironically speaking). But I feel like it's been too many of them in last several years - that's what I'm so nervous about.

Edited by Aerospacefag - Saturday, 15.09.2012, 20:47
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Saturday, 15.09.2012, 20:50 | Message # 35
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Quote (Aerospacefag)
But I feel like it's been too many of them in last several years - that's what I'm so nervous about.

I agree. But history is full of people who thought they had a great idea and managed to convince everyone else of it, even though it was really nothing. It's not a new trend, and it will all work out without causing the end of the world. I find many other things to worry about sad





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mike4ty4Date: Wednesday, 26.09.2012, 23:51 | Message # 36
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
Aerospacefag, you're right. And I have a lot of experience with people who don't understand the issues that face society and humanity, or just don't care about them. Most of my family is made of these people, as are large fractions of the population in my country (and much of the world, for that matter).


So I'm curious: How would one go about obtaining that kind of understanding? And this seems like the biggest problem. Without that understanding and care, it would seem all the other problems could not be tackled. As it's ultimately up to the peoples of the world. Do you think there's any way that we could significantly boost the percentage of people who have that understanding? Even if we can't get everyone to care, if we could give a large boost to that amount, it'd go a long way.

Quote (HarbingerDawn)
The majority of American politics stems from the shallow, myopic, judgmental, closed-minded, ignorant, self-serving views that most people posses, including the politicians. People who can't see past their next decision to the consequences of their actions, or inactions.


And that's the big problem isn't it -- that MOST people have that. So what I wonder is:

1. how can an individual gain a deep, 20-20, nonjudgmental, open-minded, knowledgeable, and both self-and-others-serving (everyone-serving) view? How could I, for example, get as much understanding of the world and its issues as you have?

2. if we can't get most people away from such views, then it seems there's little hope of ever truly solving anything. Do you agree?
 
SolarisDate: Thursday, 27.09.2012, 00:56 | Message # 37
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Hello mike4ty4, welcome to the forum. Please take a moment to read the forum rules .
You can edit your posts by clicking on the edit button (lower right corner of your message), like that you can avoid doubles posts.
Thanks !
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Tuesday, 06.11.2012, 15:13 | Message # 38
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Here is a little visual comparison of government science vs military spending in the United States:






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Antza2Date: Tuesday, 06.11.2012, 20:57 | Message # 39
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
Here is a little visual comparison of government science vs military spending in the United States:

If NASA got the same amount of money as the DoD, we'd have colonies in Andromeda my now. dry





Go to antza2.deviantart.com for cool photos!
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Wednesday, 07.11.2012, 00:52 | Message # 40
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Quote (Antza2)
If NASA got the same amount of money as the DoD, we'd have colonies in Andromeda my now.

And the most advanced aircraft you can imagine. And materials advances that we will need to wait decades more for. And even cold fusion. If you gave NASA that much money, I'll bet they could find a way to break the laws of physics and invent cold fusion.





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