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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If everything goes according to plan, the NASA Artemis Program intends to:
- build and launch the "Gateway" (a space station that will orbit the small moon ;) between now and 2024
- land people on the moon by 2024
- set up a sustainable Lunar Outpost by 2028
- plan for Mars

https://www.nasa.gov/specials/moon2mars/

Oddly enough, it was the unveiling of the new spacesuits that made me think "Wow, they are actually serious about this." When scientists make clothing it certainly looks different. "Function over form."

I feel this actually has the greatest chance of success because it is being led by NASA/government and being supported by private companies who are capable of exploiting the lucrative potential space has to offer. Even so, things do not always go according to plan and space is not particularly forgiving. Also, in this document one of the primary reasons to go to the moon is " Establishes American leadership with strategic presence." Which means "military."
https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/america_to_the_moon_2024_artemis_20190523.pdf

The urgency of this program is what stands out as being somewhat disconcerting.

Self-Driving/Electric Cars and Autonomous Everything

Caterpillar has an impressive system of autonomous earthmovers. They mine and move earth like clockwork because they do it where there are no people. I'm pretty sure a giant mining truck will not stop should a person walk out in front of it.

I was not a fan of electric cars until the VW race car won the Pike's Peak Hill Climb. That was the first demonstration I had seen where an electric car clearly outperformed every other competitor. (The reason is electric motors are not affected by altitude.) I think the only way electric cars will prosper is through capturing the car enthusiast, the person that enjoys driving so that when their internal combustion engine is taken away, it is replaced with something more enjoyable.

I think autonomous cars and human-driven cars can not coexist on the same roads. For example, at Disneyland, the rides are automated. You can not bring your own log to ride down Splash Mountain. You have to ride in their logs because a rogue log would cause problems with the system. If an autonomous vehicle was something different than a car and had its own infrastructure separate from human drivers...that might work. People like the feeling of independence driving allows them and I do not see them giving that up.

Predicting the Future is Hard
These are my preliminary thoughts on these particular topics. I am not against the ideas but there is a substantial amount of risk involved and I do not hear anyone saying, "You know? Perhaps this is not such a good idea after all" about any of them. Perhaps I'm not listening well enough.

What are your thoughts about the future?
 

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Interesting stuff... I'm all for space exploration, especially if there are private investors injecting money into the program. If I have learned anything from sci-fi movies, the scientific community will have groundbreaking discoveries to benefit mankind, but a mean old military guy will go rogue and use the new technology against poor helpless people... lol! ;-)

Not a fan of self driving vehicles... Way too many variables in the world we live in. Also, ever seen "I Robot"? I grew up in a small town in rural AZ and you just can't replace the feeling of driving out into nowhere on tiny barely perceptible roads, so my take on driving is that I like the independence and enjoy it. Human error is something we just have to live with.

I also race off road motorcycles in flattrack and hare scrambles (2-hour enduros)... Electric dirtbikes have come a long way!
(electric vs gas in straight rhythm competition) The power is so linear and "right now" with a twist of the throttle. Imagine being able to ride wherever you want... in veritable silence? I think battery technology (lower weight and higher capacity) has enabled the electric vehicles to get closer to an actual practical vehicle for the everyday driver. Maybe not for cross country travel, but daily commuting (as long as you have electricity, unlike the electric vehicle owners in CA where they shut down the grid).

Interesting stuff... keep in mind that these thoughts are processed in a brain that has processed other nutty thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you read the NASA Moon/Mars plan you will notice only 1 country is participating: the U.S.A. I don’t think it’s because other countries are not interested in space/Moon/Mars either. Quite the opposite.

Overtime I fused electric cars with self-driving cars because they seem to be mentioned in the same sentence whenever “tech” journalists talk about Tesla. Porsche makes the Taycan which is all electric but requires a driver which is nice.

When any of the giant tech companies do something that we would go to jail for, they explain it is so they can “serve their customers better and enhance the user experience.” We accept this excuse every time too. Maybe we shouldn’t?

A little information can go a long way in understanding why the organizations who shape the future do what they do. Tim Cook believes everyone should learn how to code. Why? If everyone knew how to code, malware/viruses would be almost pointless to make because the average person could fix it. If we all spoke the same language there would be no secrets. He didn’t say that. He also didn’t say “Apple would sell more products.”

Just thoughts...
 

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Interesting NASA went with the Russian one piece (I'm guessing) climb in the back space suit for EVA. Looks cool with a good design and range of motion. Thumbs up!

I've bee saying for a long time that humanity is on the early stages of a seachange in society. Without getting into a political discussion, there are certainly major economic impacts happening or on the horizon.
For example, 10-15 years ago I wouldn't be for any kind of minimum wage. But we've seen so much automation destroying jobs, increases in minimum wage and even guaranteed minimum income might become real things. For brevity, you can't just throw a tarp over millions of displaced workers and call it a day. There's socioeconomic impacts. Self driving semis and robots stocking shelves are cool, but even with the maintenance and manufacturing required of them there will be displaced workers. And if Kurzweil is right and one day machines start making machines - watch out!
On the upside we have access to a wealth of information and education via the internet. There's really no reason anyone can't get a college-level education at home. The big questions are curriculum format and accreditation. Those of us who paid for a college education - great. That can still exist. (I'd like to see the college textbook industry crumble - but that's another thread. :) ) But everyone with a computer should be able to access some form of higher learning. That's good for everyone!
And then there's the new worldwide instant collaboration the net allows. We've only had, what, two or three decades of that? Good things ahead in terms of research, I hope.
One thing is for sure - human society will look a lot different at the end of the 21st century than it did at the beginning. Promethean change is ahead!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When I read “Kurzweil” I thought of metronomes and keyboards. I wasn’t wrong, it’s the same guy, he has just done a lot of other things as well. 🙂

To the people living in the U.K., you know your politics better than anyone. What are your thoughts on Brexit right now? Do you think a proverbial weight will be lifted off your shoulders when all the uncertainty changes to certainty? I have not heard anyone say they felt things were going to plan. In the U.S., sensible people rarely make the news. It’s always the loons. I’d like hear non-loonies thoughts about the ordeal.

If this is too political, perhaps the unprecedented nature of the situation and it’s historical significance are important enough to make an exception, as long as things stay civil?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is long, not exciting, and I have only watched/listened to 5 minutes of it. House hearings might be a normal occurrence for NASA but it is nice to know other people, specifically elected officials, had questions about the Artemis mission too. Actually, they had questions about the money involved, but that is close enough.

House hearing on NASA's moon landing proposal:
 

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This is long, not exciting, and I have only watched/listened to 5 minutes of it. House hearings might be a normal occurrence for NASA but it is nice to know other people, specifically elected officials, had questions about the Artemis mission too. Actually, they had questions about the money involved, but that is close enough.

House hearing on NASA's moon landing proposal:
I want to believe in NASA and their partners but how long has SLS been in development? With "off the shelf" shuttle era technology like the SRBs and RS-25's? NINE years I think???
I like that private companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin are pushing forward and getting things done. As long as it remains safe, or the best possible measure of safety for space flight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I want to believe in NASA and their partners but how long has SLS been in development? With "off the shelf" shuttle era technology like the SRBs and RS-25's? NINE years I think???
I like that private companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin are pushing forward and getting things done. As long as it remains safe, or the best possible measure of safety for space flight.
The impression I got was the U.S. has not been pursuing human space exploration with great fervor for a while now. China successfully landed a rover on the dark side of the moon which suggests they are getting good at the whole "sending things into outer space" thing. I sense some political tension there. As a result, the President gave NASA $23-25 billion to make our fervor for human space exploration great again. He also wants things done 4 years ahead of schedule.

The House hearing was still mainly about money, but also whether or not any of this is realistic. There was some politics involved too. When it comes to space, I assume the people who know what is going on out there do not share much with the people who do not know what is going on out there. I can only imagine...which is just fine. However, should there be any malicious behavior taking place in space, the presence of private businesses, in one form or another, would be a major deterrent against said malicious behavior.
 

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Very interesting stuff. Who knows. Maybe we will have another space race to Mars now that China is starting to develop their program. It seems like the US is more concerned about social programs at this point in time than exploring the solar system. We'll eventually put Matt Damon on Mars. Hopefully in my lifetime.
 

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Interesting stuff... I'm all for space exploration, especially if there are private investors injecting money into the program. If I have learned anything from sci-fi movies, the scientific community will have groundbreaking discoveries to benefit mankind, but a mean old military guy will go rogue and use the new technology against poor helpless people... lol! ;-)

Not a fan of self driving vehicles... Way too many variables in the world we live in. Also, ever seen "I Robot"? I grew up in a small town in rural AZ and you just can't replace the feeling of driving out into nowhere on tiny barely perceptible roads, so my take on driving is that I like the independence and enjoy it. Human error is something we just have to live with.

I also race off road motorcycles in flattrack and hare scrambles (2-hour enduros)... Electric dirtbikes have come a long way!
(electric vs gas in straight rhythm competition) The power is so linear and "right now" with a twist of the throttle. Imagine being able to ride wherever you want... in veritable silence? I think battery technology (lower weight and higher capacity) has enabled the electric vehicles to get closer to an actual practical vehicle for the everyday driver. Maybe not for cross country travel, but daily commuting (as long as you have electricity, unlike the electric vehicle owners in CA where they shut down the grid).

Interesting stuff... keep in mind that these thoughts are processed in a brain that has processed other nutty thoughts.
I'm a big fan of Ronnie Mac. I'd like to see what he thinks about electrics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've bee saying for a long time that humanity is on the early stages of a seachange in society. Without getting into a political discussion, there are certainly major economic impacts happening or on the horizon.
For example, 10-15 years ago I wouldn't be for any kind of minimum wage. But we've seen so much automation destroying jobs, increases in minimum wage and even guaranteed minimum income might become real things. For brevity, you can't just throw a tarp over millions of displaced workers and call it a day. There's socioeconomic impacts. Self driving semis and robots stocking shelves are cool, but even with the maintenance and manufacturing required of them there will be displaced workers. And if Kurzweil is right and one day machines start making machines - watch out!
On the upside we have access to a wealth of information and education via the internet. There's really no reason anyone can't get a college-level education at home. The big questions are curriculum format and accreditation. Those of us who paid for a college education - great. That can still exist. (I'd like to see the college textbook industry crumble - but that's another thread. :) ) But everyone with a computer should be able to access some form of higher learning. That's good for everyone!
And then there's the new worldwide instant collaboration the net allows. We've only had, what, two or three decades of that? Good things ahead in terms of research, I hope.
One thing is for sure - human society will look a lot different at the end of the 21st century than it did at the beginning. Promethean change is ahead!
It is rather remarkable how much of what you said became relevant within 1 year. I'm not sure anything happened the way we were thinking about it at the time, but still, it's impressive.

When I started this thread, I was thinking of rapid change in terms of months and years. Now, the world changes almost everyday. Ironically, NASA is still on schedule more or less. ;)
 
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