Friday, March 1, 2013

Nice slideshow of some 1970's space stations


"In the mid-1970s, to a visionary few, space colonies seemed like the future of humanity. One of the colony types deemed feasible was the cylinder colony, here shown in a double-cylinder version envisioned by Gerard O'Neill, a Princeton physicist."

Discover Magazine

6 comments:

truthspew said...

You know if Congress didn't keep screwing with NASA's budget and fully funded them we'd probably out by Alpha Centauri by now.

Me, I'm a radical. I say cut the nominal military/pentagon budget by 1/3. Take that money and put some into advanced R&D for energy storage systems. The rest give it to NASA to develop things like their warp drive FTL project, etc.

High Power Rocketry said...

No arguments there, except that some military spending helps RnD also. Just the dumb spending (keeping 50,000 people in South Korea, building thousands of tanks, operating a bunch of boomer subs...) that needs to go. There are other problems too, specifically the amount of money we spend on medicine in this country. Even if we just pegged the NASA budget to 1% of federal, I would be happy.

Mark said...

Heh - I remember finding that book in the library when I was a young 'un. Lovely pictures.

But what's your problem with the boomers? Sure, they're horribly expensive, but they're basically invulnerable; if we're going to have nuclear weapons at all I'd rather they be on submarines than anywhere else. If we're going to cut nukes I'd start with the tactical weapons, which serve no earthly purpose I'm aware of.

High Power Rocketry said...

Boomers are extremely expensive and they are no longer needed. Silo sites and a limited number of aircraft deliverable weapons are good enough. I am no longer worried about a war with the USSR, instead I want us to retain a deterrent, and the land based silos can do it. Smaller, cheaper, faster, smarter, better. It can be done, if we want to do it. I would also cut the number of troops overseas and the number of bases drastically. Most of that money leaves the country for good.

Mark said...

Considering the importance of their cargo, the amount of money spent on the boomers is relatively small, especially compared to the total defense budget. And the boomers are survivable. Silo-based ICBMs are not. I do not want the US government even considering launch-on-warning, because that is a recipe for disaster on a scale never seen in the modern world. And just because a great power war has not been a serious worry over the past two decades does not mean it never will be again, and it would take a great deal of time and money to rebuild that capability if we lose it.

For the rest of it, mostly agreed. We'd be better off if we stopped trying to play global imperium and focused on R&D and rebuilding our aging infrastructure.

High Power Rocketry said...

Good points Mark...