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  • The NEW Spirit of St. Louis...

    I know a lot of people aren't interested in space, but I am. Taking a flight off of this Earth is something that I really hope to do before I die.

    These people are trying to make it happen:

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  • #2
    Re: The NEW Spirit of St. Louis...

    Maybe I should explain a bit more to get your attention. Most of you probably know that in 1927, Charles Lindbergh was the first person to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in his plane, The Spirit of St. Louis. What you may not know (I didn't), was that his trip was done to win $25,000 in a contest very similar to this Xprize. I guess there were quite a few contests similar to this, and that the aviation advancements that came from those contests led directly to industrial advancements that now allow us to fly virtually anywhere in the world just about whenever we want.
    This Xprize is $10,000,000.00 for the first private (non-government funded) team to successfully launch a passenger craft that holds passengers into space (100km up), land it safely and then re-launch it within 14 days.

    One of the teams, Scaled Composites just had their third successful flight.

    I'm awed. My dream of going into space may be much closer than I ever imagined...
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    • #3
      Re: The NEW Spirit of St. Louis...

      Nobody else finds this interesting or worth discussion? I'm a bit disappointed...
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      • #4
        Re: The NEW Spirit of St. Louis...

        I find it cool :D
        Flying into space in a private "jet rocket" would be scary though o.O


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        • #5
          Re: The NEW Spirit of St. Louis...

          That's pretty cool, I wasnt aware of a contest like that, at either time...

          I think there needs to be more contests like this, more incentive to this sort of activity... Need to get those inventors and engineers working again, more minds, more ideas, less centralized costs.
          RAWGRLRLRLRRLGLRL!!!

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          • #6
            Re: The NEW Spirit of St. Louis...

            What I find most interesting is the number of directions people are coming from, design-wise. Some of them are just capsules with boosters and parachutes. Others are low-orbit planes. Russia's looks like a bus to me. :)

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            • #7
              Re: The NEW Spirit of St. Louis...

              Well, it looks like the red tape is being cleared to allow for public spaceports to exist in the United States: http://www.space.com/news/mojave_spaceport_040524.html
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              • #8
                Re: The NEW Spirit of St. Louis...

                It's part of one of my 'most want to do' actually, going as high as physically possible and as low as possible. Can't really get higher than space! As for low, well deep sea diving is probably a reasonable ambition.

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                • #9
                  Re: The NEW Spirit of St. Louis...

                  The thing is, flying across the atlantic there was somewhere to go to: the Americas. Flying into space there is nothing. You can go into orbit, but the only difference is there is no air or gravity. Useful for a couple of experiments but that's it. Zero G is fun for a while, but I imagine it will get boring a lot quicker than it took you to earn the $10m to get there.

                  Alternatively you could go to either the Moon or Mars, both of which have nothing of value on them. There might have been a microbe there a billion years ago but that's about it. Even if you spent a century or ten terraforming them, they would just be more sprawl for us to inhabit.

                  When I was growing up watching Star Trek I thought space travel was really cool and that sooner or later we would have the technology to go to distant galaxies. Then I grew up and I studied a little Astrophysics. Its NOT gonna happen.

                  Having said that, computer technology was very pointless at first, and now our economies and way of life depend upon it. If someone comes up with a reason to go into space, I will get just as excited as when I was an uncynical 10 year old again.
                  Wintermute

                  Play EVE online. It's like being an accounting addict in space.

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                  • #10
                    Re: The NEW Spirit of St. Louis...

                    Originally posted by Wintermute
                    Having said that, computer technology was very pointless at first, and now our economies and way of life depend upon it. If someone comes up with a reason to go into space, I will get just as excited as when I was an uncynical 10 year old again.
                    I see your point, but I believe that exploration simply for the sake of exploring is important.

                    As you pointed out, computers were once pointless and now they're essential to our way of life. We can thank space exploration for many of the advances that we've had in our lives. Simple little things that we've researched/discovered/perfected during our space research are now being used by us every day. Velcro? Nickel Metal Hydride rechargeable batteries? Tang? How could we live without these things?

                    I'd like to see a research station on the moon and Mars. The European colonization of North America was simply more sprawl for us to inhabit, but I'm kinda glad that it happened...
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                    • #11
                      Re: The NEW Spirit of St. Louis...

                      The Ansari X Prize is looking for volunteers and there's also a pretty cool overview video that can be found HERE.
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                      • #12
                        Re: The NEW Spirit of St. Louis...

                        After watching what happened to that Canadian prototype....I'm not sure I want to get in the volunteer line just yet! Cripes...I just wanna take a spin in an f/a18 or a Blackhawk....then I'll move on to the space stuff :D

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                        • #13
                          Re: The NEW Spirit of St. Louis...

                          Originally posted by Wintermute
                          The thing is, flying across the atlantic there was somewhere to go to: the Americas. Flying into space there is nothing. You can go into orbit, but the only difference is there is no air or gravity. Useful for a couple of experiments but that's it. Zero G is fun for a while, but I imagine it will get boring a lot quicker than it took you to earn the $10m to get there.
                          There's more to reaching orbit than experiments. While this contest takes the flight into orbit and back, it means more than just that. There's been talk of flights half way around the world that would be faster if the plane reaches orbit or near orbit. I would also bet that there are a ton of companies who have commercial plans for something like this. It's also a first step.
                          |TG-12th| asch
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                          • #14
                            Re: The NEW Spirit of St. Louis...

                            Originally posted by asch
                            There's been talk of flights half way around the world that would be faster if the plane reaches orbit or near orbit. I would also bet that there are a ton of companies who have commercial plans for something like this. It's also a first step.
                            That's why this contest was set up the way it was. They have to repeat their flight in two weeks. Watch the video to get a look at the many different companies that might have plans to be the first commercial spaceline.
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