Alan Bean, one of the original Travellers

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SSWarlock
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Alan Bean, one of the original Travellers

Postby SSWarlock » Sun May 27, 2018 12:16 am

Astronaut Alan Bean has died at 86 years of age. Lunar Module pilot for Apollo 12, he was one of the boyhood inspirations that got me into Traveller.

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Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Alan Bean, one of the original Travellers

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Sun May 27, 2018 4:29 pm

One of the Apollo Twelve! Its too bad our Apollo astronauts are growing old and dying, and we still haven't done anything with the Moon after Apollo. Space travel is still mostly science fiction, and the stuff or role playing games like Traveller.
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Re: Alan Bean, one of the original Travellers

Postby steve98052 » Mon May 28, 2018 5:33 pm

My earliest media memories are the Apollo program. So sad that they are leaving us.
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Re: Alan Bean, one of the original Travellers

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Mon May 28, 2018 6:32 pm

steve98052 wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 5:33 pm
My earliest media memories are the Apollo program. So sad that they are leaving us.
So sad they are leaving us and we're still stuck on Earth! When they were walking on the Moon, I was an infant, well I was a 2-year old, and now I am 50 years old and we are still stuck on Earth. Space travel hasn't become routine like air travel was in 1969. In 1919 Air travel was in its infancy, if people wanted to cross the ocean back then they took a passenger ship, air travel was the stuff of stunts, or barnstorming. In 1969, you could buy a ticket on a jet airliner for aa transatlantic flight and people back then were dreaming about vacationing on the Moon as they watched Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldren walk on the Moon and collect rocks, from their point of view, they could imagine routine trips to orbit or the Moon comparable to people traveling on an airplane black then, but a funny thing happened on the way from then to now, the tech level got frozen for 50 years.

Today I am 50 years older and I am still imagining space travel as common place now as people were back then when I was an infant. the inflexion point from 1969 all the way back to World War II when Von Braun was experimenting with his V2 rockets was one of steady progress, but ever since those first steps were made on the Moon, the Whole World took a collective brain fart, everyone said, "Duh!" and did nothing for 50 years!

It is a shame our Apollo astronauts are dying of old age and still we are accomplishing nothing significant in space except making new headlines, nothing we can participate in except by reading it in a newpaper or magazine, watching it on television, the internet, or using our GPSs to navigate on the roadways instead of using a map and reading road signs! Big deal! Where was Elon Musk in the 1970s? We could have used someone like him back then instead of waiting 50 years. I had dreams of living and working in space when I was a child.

I was brought up on the accomplishments of those rocket scientists and Apollo astronauts. For me 1969 was notable for the Moon landing, not for Woodstock and those long haired losers experimenting with their brains on LSD. We learn nothing from those hallucinations and their experimenting with so called "inner space". I was hoping that those hippies would get out of the way so we could progress into space colonization, so we can get off this planet and escape the threats of nuclear war. Get our marbles out of this "big blue basket". Instead we got "Duh!"

What is even more amazing is no nation ever followed the United States in sending men to the Moon. I guess the United States was 50 years ahead of all the other nations in the World, no nation has followed us, even now, even China only has pretensions and dreams of copying what we did almost 50 years ago!
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Re: Alan Bean, one of the original Travellers

Postby Nobby-W » Mon May 28, 2018 10:30 pm

Tom Kalbfus wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 6:32 pm
steve98052 wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 5:33 pm
My earliest media memories are the Apollo program. So sad that they are leaving us.
[ . . . ]
It is a shame our Apollo astronauts are dying of old age and still we are accomplishing nothing significant in space except making new headlines, nothing we can participate in except by reading it in a newpaper or magazine, watching it on television, the internet, or using our GPSs to navigate on the roadways instead of using a map and reading road signs! Big deal! Where was Elon Musk in the 1970s? We could have used someone like him back then instead of waiting 50 years. I had dreams of living and working in space when I was a child.
[ . . . ]
That's not strictly true. While NASA's manned exploration programme has been moribund since the Apollo Programme, a lot of work has gone into the International Space Station, which is the most expensive object ever built by mankind, and many, many unmanned missions have produced research from all over the Solar System. SpaceX's efforts at re-usable spacecraft are well on the way to knocking an order of magnitude or more off the cost of getting cargo into space.

We can expect the efforts of SpaceX and various other parties to enable many more applications for space travel that are not economical with current technology. There has been huge progress in the past 50 years. Some of it is showy like the Space Shuttle and ISS, but much more of it is really low key. Folks are even launching rockets from New Zealand now. Who would have ever have thought New Zealand would develop a space programme, much less an independent launch capability?

The next 20 years or so are looking set to be quite interesting. Too late for me to begin a career in space but my kids might just find their way into orbit.
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Re: Alan Bean, one of the original Travellers

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Tue May 29, 2018 7:35 pm

Bet you SpaceX could build a much cheaper space station that is bigger than the ISS. You see the way NASA does things, it pours a lot of money on a problem until either the problem is solved or the program gets cancelled. It all depends on the largess of the American taxpayer, NASA simply has to do something interesting that the American public feels is worth their while. With Apollo it was beating the Russians to the Moon. Once that happened, the Russians quit trying to send its people to the Moon, and the Apollo program was too expensive to sustain itself, they already built a number of Saturn V rockets, so they used those up, each one was one use only, and they used the last one on Skylab, There is a remaining one that is on display in Houston, it is probably useless now. The problem with the Saturn V rocket is that each one can only be used once and then they are gone, and each one costs as much as a Destroyer to build, except that Destroyers can be reused and Saturn Vs can't be. It is hard to justify building throw away giant rockets when the Russians have already been beaten to the Moon. SpaceX is building something that can be reused, it has been demonstrated than money can be made by launching those rockets rather than just money being spent. Too bad it had to take 50 years to accomplish this. I think if anything like the Falcon was built in the 1970s, the bottom stages would have had to have been piloted, as computers were not then up to the task.
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Re: Alan Bean, one of the original Travellers

Postby Condottiere » Thu May 31, 2018 9:18 am

When someone builds a permanent peace base on the dark side of the Moon.

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