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Wired guide for commercial human space flights

In the morning On December 13, 2018, Virgin Galaxy WhiteKnightTwo rolled on a strong runway in Mohave, California, ready to fly. Fly as a regular passenger plane, the two-way catamaran on a plane passed by the owner Richard Branson, who was standing by placing in a plane jacket on the sidewalk. But WhiteKnightTwo was not just any airplane: snapped between the two corpses was space a plane called SpaceShipTwo, set to be the first private craft that regularly brings tourists from this planet.

WhiteKnightTwo upset and rose, preparing to climb to an altitude of 50,000 feet. From that height, the plane will release SpaceShipTwo; her two pilots will burn the engines and strengthen the craft in space.

"3 … 2 … 1 …" the words came through the radio.

SpaceShipTwo dropped like an elegant stone, free.

"Fire, Fire," said the controller.

To command, a flame shot from the motors of the craft. A counterbalance smoked above the folds of the mountains as a spaceship flying and up and up. Soon, both the sharp and the fire stopped: SpaceShipTwo simply floated. The nail polish bent through his window, against the blackness of the rest of the universe. Height of the board decoration, shaped like a snowflake, wheels in the microgravity of the cab.

"Welcome to space," said the base. And with this, Virgin Galactic flew its first astronauts, who were not government heroes of old but private citizens working for a private company.

For most of the history of spacecraft, people have left such exploits of governments. From the Medieval Mercury, the Gemini and Apollo Days to the 30-year shuttle program, NASA dominated the field of US space activities. But today, companies run by powerful billionaires – who have made their big bucks in other industries and now use them to meet starry dreams – take the torch, or at least part of their fire.

For its part, Virgin Galactic is stimulated as tourist clothing, and such space hopes often speak of the philosophical reinforcement – the perspective that occurs when people see the Earth as a real planet in the real space. Other companies want to help establish a permanent stay on the moon and / or on Mars, and sometimes they speak of fate and salvation. There are many gestures towards the strength of the human spirit and the irrepressible preliminary nature of our species.

But let's not forget, of course, that there is money to be theoretically made; and the federal government no longer flies with astronauts. After the closure of the space program in 2011, the United States no longer had the opportunity to send people into space and since then rely on Russia. But that will change: Today, two private companies – Boeing and SpaceX – have contracts to fly people to the International Space Station.

But even before NASA's programs to send people into space began to decline, business magnates recognized what they could do if they had their own missiles. They could transfer deliveries to a space station for a government aware of the budget. They can launch satellites. They could take tourists to suborbital crazy. They could push industrial infrastructure in deep space. They can solve the moon and Mars. People could become devastating species, which they should always be, and often travel – or even live long-term – far from the Earth. It's exciting: after all, science fiction, which is a great predictor and creator of the future, has told us for decades that space is the next frontier, and we should not go but also live there.

Private space companies take small steps toward this long-term, large presence in space, and 2019 has more promises than most years ago. But deadlines are constantly slipping: Like a cold fusion, the private human space travel is constantly just around the corner. Perhaps part of the lag is because private human space travelers travel in particular extended the private human space travel is an almost unverified business model, and most of these companies make a lot of money for businesses that have nothing to do with people: Often, revenue-generating operations here and now include shuffling satellites and supplies close by, not sending people far away. But since the most prosperous plans are supported by billionaires with big agendas – and are, in a sense, directed at other rich people – science fiction can still become a cosmic fact.

A History of Private Human Space Space Lights

Today, the capitalists of the space plane call their industry a new space, although in the previous days ahead-minders spoke of "alt.space". You could say that it all began in 1982, when a company called Space Services launched the first privately-funded rocket: the modified Minuteman projection, which bore Conestopa I (after the wagon, they got it?). The flight was just a demonstration, deploying a false load of 40 kilograms of water. But two years later, the United States adopted the 1984 Commercial Property Act, opening the framework for more private activity.

Human travelers climbed to the ship in 2001, when a financier named Denis Tito bought a place on the Russian Soyuz rocket and took $ 20 million, a nearly eight-day rest at the space station. The adventures of the universe, who organized this expensive flight, will continue to send six more astro-dilettante for orbit through the Russian Space Agency.

The same year, a man named Elon Mashk, who was rich in PayPal sales, announced a plan called Mars Oasis. With his lot of money, he wanted to boost public support for a human settlement on the Red Planet, so public pressure would force Congress to authorize the Mars mission. Through an organization founded called the Foundation "Life to Mars," Musk proposed the following private funding display: $ 20 million for landing on Mars, carrying a greenhouse effect that can be filled with Martian soil and possibly in 2005.

6.8 billion dollars

The potential value of NASA's contracts with SpaceX and Boeing to take astronauts to and from the space station.

This, let's notice, never happened – in part because the price of launch such a future-garden was so high. The US missile will cost $ 65 million (about $ 92 million in 2018 dollars), a reconstructed Russian ICBM about $ 10 million. A year later, Musk began to rocket the rocket barrier. Moving from a "foundation" to "corporation," he launched SpaceX, a rocket company with the explicit ultimate goal of living on Mars.

In the early days, Musk was not the only one who wanted to send people into space. Pilot (and then an astronaut) Mike Melville flew SpaceShipOne, which resembled a bullet that grew in frog legs in space in 2004. After that test flight and two consecutive trips, SpaceShipOne received an X-award of $ 10 million. These flights gathered two dreams for the New Space Space: privately developed craft and private pilots on astronauts. After victory, Virgin Galactic and Scalid Composites developed high-flying technology in SpaceShipTwo. Released by Virgin in 2009, this passenger ship was intended to send tourists to space … at the cost of an average house. (After all, why should you have a home forever when you can go into space for five minutes?)

3.5 billion dollars

The value of NASA's first contracts with SpaceX and Orbital Sciences (now part of Northrop Grumman) to deliver ISS reserves, from 2009 to 2016

Virgin Galactic always kept its focus close to home and in short but frequent flights that remained suborbital. However, the musk stuck to his original martial mission. After launching its first orbiting rocket in 2008, SpaceX won an agreement with NASA to ship buses to and from the space station, while still shifting the burden to the agency. But the launch really got its legs in 2012 and 2013, when it started with a squat rocket called Skakulets. Even though it did not climb high in the air, it descended back to the launch pad, from where it can again climb (like, say, the grasshopper). This recycling opportunity has paved the way for today's Falcon 9 recurrent missiles, which have risen up and down and have helped transform the missile science ethos from one of the recyclability of one of the recycling options.

Virgin Galactic

From Virgin Records to Virgin Atlantic to Virgin Mobile, Richard Branson made money around the block.

WhiteKnightTwo + SpaceShipTwo

The plane of the Deville Galaxy is carrying a space plane that can carry up to six passengers and two pilots just above the boundary of the universe so that they can experience a few minutes of weightlessness and an amazing view. Richard Branson hopes to climb by the middle of this year, which will soon be followed by tourists.

Musk's goal, because the failure of Mars Oasis, has always been to reduce launch costs. Today, SpaceFox Salc 9 recurring missiles costs $ 50-60 million – still a lot, but less than $ 100 million plus some of its competitors. Getting into space, thinking goes, should not be the biggest obstacle that the face of the universe can face. If SpaceX can do this, the company may – theoretically – one day send Mars to the many supplies of groceries and people that are necessary to meet the fashionable "MAKE LIFE MULTIPLANETARY" model.

But the multi-planetary path is not always smooth for SpaceX. Its disposable rockets collapsed in the ocean, they turned to sea, collapsed on ships, turned over ships, fell through the air, broke, exploded a middle field and exploded on the launch pad.

Throughout the real New Space, however, it never runs smooth, and SpaceX is far from the only company that has experienced crashes. For example, Virgin Galactic faced a tragedy in 2014 when pilot Pitt Sibil and Michael Clarke were in SpaceShipTwo under the airstrike of WhiteKnight.

Blue origin

Jeff Bezos, from the fame and fortune of Amazon, is still very much married to the space.

New Shepherd

A single Blue Origin rocket will have crews and loads of 11-minute suborbital flights, landing silently as a feather depicted on his body. The goal is to send the first team this year.

New Glen

Blue origin says it wants this recyclable heavy lift to "build the way to the universe". This launcher is likely to debut in 2021.

The flight of SpaceShipTwo was not as planned. SpaceShipTwo has a "primary mechanism" which, when unlocked and enabled, slows down the ship to be able to land safely. But Alsbury early unlocked it, and pulled out the craft while the rockets were still firing. Aerodynamic forces dispersed SpaceShipTwo, killing Alsbury. Siebold parachute, alive, on the ground. Few customers quit. Most still want to go into space, although the industry has a higher risk and lower regulation than commercial flights at lower altitudes.

Meanwhile, another big corporation – Blue Origin – quietly made plans for a human mission. This celestial venture, funded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, started in 2000 before SpaceX started operating, but for years it remained rather secretive. Then, in the launch of the April 2015 test, the New Shepard rocket that can be used again retired. Successfully deployed a capsule but failed to land. But in November, Shepaard did what she needed: to touch down, to defeat SpaceX for the purpose of the launch and the country.

Blue origin, such as Virgin Galactic, wants to use its small rocket to send tourists from suborbital space. And he wants, with larger rocket pistols, to help ease the permanent moon colony. Bezos pointed out that heavy industry should take place on this planet, in places that are already sucking but have mineral resources. The first lunar touchdown, he says, could be in 2023, facilitating the Earth that is zoned mostly residential and light industrial.

SpaceX also has large 2023 plans. The company announced in September last year that in 2023 will send Japanese magnate Yusaka Maezawa and graze friends on a trip through the moon. NASA also contracted the company and Boeing to tramp astronauts to and from the ICS as part of a commercial crew program that began human testing later this year.

However, for all the entertainment around these companies with a wider vision, Virgin Galactic remains the only private company that actually sends a private person into space on a private vehicle.

The future of the private human cosmic world

The way these companies see the future, they (humbly, of course) will be those who will normalize space travel – whether this journey will take you directly above the line Karman or another celestial body. Spacecraft will transport passengers and experiments on submobble sites, reaching for less in less than it takes to watch The right things. The missiles will start and land and reboot, send satellites and transport physical and biological cargo to the industrial base of the moon or to the home base, where settlers will ensure that the species continues even if there is an apocalypse (nuclear, climate) of terma firma. Homo sapiens will manifest its fate, proved to be a brave pioneer who always knew it was. And the idea that we do not have to get stuck in a cosmic place is always exciting!

But all these businesses are businesses, not philanthropic boards. Is the animal casually packing and seriously interplanetary, in fact, a credible financial perspective? And – more importantly – is it actually desirable?

Let's start with the low-key suborbital space tourism, the Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin we would like to offer. Some economists believe this is quite feasible: if we know something about the world, it's that some subsets of the population will always have too much money and spend it on cool surprises for the plebeians. If such flights become routine, however, their price could be reduced, and space tourism could follow the trajectory of the commercial aviation industry, formerly for the rich and now home to Spirit Airlines. Some also speculate that longer, orbital flights and sleep in luxury hotels with six stars (the extra star is about space) – can be followed.

Once there is a market for space hotels, more infrastructures can follow. And if you want to build something for space, it can be easier and cheaper to build it in space, space materials, rather than spending billions to launch all the materials you need. Perhaps the miners and manufacturers of the moon could establish a proto-colony, which could lead to some people who are constantly living there.

Or not. Who knows? I can not see the future, nor you, nor these billionaires.

But with long trips or permanent stays there are problems more complex than whether the money can be made or whether it is possible to build a nice city square from the moon dust. The most complicated part of human exploration of space will always be man.

We weak creatures evolved into the surroundings of this planet. Mutations and adjustments appear to make us uniquely suited to live here – and so unique no suitable for living in space, or at Valles Marineris. It's too cold or too hot; no air for breathing; you can not eat potatoes grown in your own shit for the rest of your unnatural life. Your personal microbes can affect everything from digestion to immunity to mood, in a way that scientists still do not understand, and although they also do not understand how space affects that microbial, it's probably not going to be the same if you live on an alien crater as it would be in your apartment.

Plus, in lesser gravity, your muscles are diminishing. Liquids in you are oddly balancing. Drugs do not always function as expected. The shape of the brain is changing. Your mind goes foggy. The coat of arms of the eyeballs is leveling. And then there is radiation that can worsen the tissue, cause cardiovascular disease, mess with your nervous system, give you cancer, or just cause a corrected radiological illness until you die. If your body retires, you can still lose the crew members, become nostalgic (planetary) and will of course to be bored of your skull during the journey and during the nostalgia and try to follow it.

There may be a technological future in which we can alleviate all these effects. Впрочем, многу работи што некогаш биле незамисливи – од вакцините до квантната механика – сега се прилично добро разбрани. Но, милијардерите во најголем дел не работат на проблемите со луѓето: кога зборуваат за вселенски градови, тие ги оставаат деталите – а нивните пари одат кон физиката, а не во биологијата.

Тие, исто така, не зборуваат толку многу за трошоците или за начините да го неутрализираат. Но, Blue Origin и SpaceX се надеваат дека ќе соработуваат со НАСА (т.е. користат федерални пари) за нивните влезници далекусежни, правејќи го овој посебен вид на приватни вселенски летови повеќе јавноста-приватно партнерство. И двајцата веќе добија многу милиони во договори со НАСА и од Одделот за одбрана за поблиски проекти, како што се спуштање на национални безбедносни сателити и развивање на повеќе инфраструктури за да го сторат тоа почесто. Во меѓувреме, Богородица има поделба наречена Вирџин орбит, која ќе испраќа мали сателити, а SpaceX има за цел да создаде своја гигантска мешана констелација за да обезбеди глобално покривање на интернет. И барем во догледна иднина, веројатно нивниот приход ќе продолжи да тече повеќе од сателитите, отколку од инфраструктурата надвор од светот. Во таа смисла, иако тие се New Space, тие се само конвенционални владини изведувачи.


Елон Маш го направи своето прво богатство на PayPal.

Сокол 9 + змеј

SpaceX, исто така, ќе ги превезува астронаутите и додатоците на Меѓународната вселенска станица за НАСА, а по патувањето, Сокол ќе се спушти, додека капсулата "Змеј" ќе се спушти. Бонус: Компанијата може да се пофали дека патниците можат да ја постават внатрешната температура насекаде од 65 до 80 степени целзиусови. Нејзиниот прв екипаж тест може да се појави во средината на 2019 година.

Супер тешка + ѕвезда

Претходно наречен BFR (Big Falcon Rocket или Голема ебамска ракета, во зависност од тоа каков тип на личност разговарате), овој SpaceX занает и неговата човечка капсула треба да заземат 100 луѓе и 150 тони товар на Црвената планета. Муск откриен помал, суборбитален прототип во јануари, а неговите сјајни сребрени страни и гроздобер sci-fi форма изгледаат како да е 50-тина вечера сонуваше дека станува ракета. Нејзиниот прв тест треба да се одржи некаде оваа година.

Значи, ако парите се постабилни во близина, зошто да погледнете подалеку од орбитата на Земјата? Зошто не се држиме до профитабилниот бизнис за испраќање сателити или овозможување комуникации? Да, да, човечкиот дух. Добро, сигурно, опстанок. И благородни, енергични цели. Но, поддржувачите, исто така, може да бидат заинтересирани за создавање на вселенски држави од типот "меѓународни води", полн со луѓе кои би можеле да си дозволат патувањето (или, можеби, затруени работници кои ќе работат во замена за билет). Можеби небесната популација ќе се соедини во едно утописко општество, ослободено од маките што ги направивме од оваа планета. Луѓето може да започнат од нула на друго место, да пишуваат нешто ново и подобро на вонземски табула раса почва. Или можеби, исто како и на Земјата, историјата ќе се повтори, а човечкиот багаж ќе биде најтешкиот товар на колонијалните бродови. Впрочем, каде и да одите, таму сте.

Можеби ние би било подобро како вид ако останеме дома и ги гледавме нашите проблеми право во окото. Тоа е заклучокот автор на научна фантастика Гери Вестфал доаѓа во еден есеј наречен "Случајот против вселената". Вестфал не мисли дека иновацијата се случува кога ќе ја префрлите својата околина и ќе трчате од вашите тешкотии, туку кога ќе се држите и ќе се справите со ситуација што ја создадовте.

Обединетата алијанса и Боинг

Не милијардер овде. Само воено-индустрискиот комплекс ги здружи силите со себе. Во изминатите 15 години, оваа ракета има 100% стапка на успех.

Атлас V + Старлинер

Ракетата Atlas V, направена од Обединетата аланска алијанса, заедничко вложување на "Локхид Мартин" и "Боинг", ќе се придружи со капсулата на Боинг CST-100 Starliner за да испрати астронаути и научни експерименти на ISS. Starliner може да лета 10 пати, се додека добива шестмесечен огноотпорен период – за реновирање и тестирање – помеѓу секое патување. Нејзиниот прв екипаж тест може да се појави во средината на 2019 година.

Освен тоа, повеќето Американци не мислат дека патувањето со човечки вселенски патувања во голема мера е национално задолжително, барем не со нивните пари. Според истражувањето на Пју во 2018 година, повеќе од 60 проценти од луѓето велат дека главните приоритети на НАСА треба да бидат следење на климата и гледање на астероиди што разбиваат Земјата. Само 18 и 13 отсто мислат исто како и за човечко патување до Марс или месечината, соодветно. Со Луѓето, со други зборови, повеќе се заинтересирани да се грижат this планетата и зачувувањето на животот на него, отколку што прават некој друг свет да живеат.

Но, можеби тоа не е важно: Историјата е полна со милијардери кои го прават она што го сакаат, и е полна со општествени пресврти и врти диктирани од нивната насока. Освен тоа, ако дури и дел од процент од населението на САД потпишано на долгорочна вселенска мисија, нивниот вселенски брод ќе продолжи да го носи најголемото вонземјено населба што некогаш патувала со сончевиот систем. И дури и ако тоа не е оаза, или утопија, тоа сепак ќе биде огромен скок.

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