[LMB] Discoveries

Jonathan Spencer jonrspence at aol.com
Wed Oct 10 15:21:44 BST 2018

> On Oct 9, 2018, Matthew George wrote:
> No one predicted the Information Revolution.  No one.  And hardly anyone
> realized that the 'Space Age' was entirely pointless and would come to
> nothing.

Nothing!  Pointless!  While manned spaceflight  has to date remained primarily a scientific endeavor, I think you are forgetting the impact that satellites have on our daily life.   Weather satellites,  telecommunications and the global positioning system have had major impacts on our daily life whether you realize it or not.  The type and level of information that satellites collect is amazing.  Agriculture and many industries  benefit from specialized information feeds from satellites.  Satellites are also a major tool in oceanography.   Hardly nothing.

As for manned spaceflight, with the advent of private space ventures such as SpaceX, Blue Origin,  and Deep Space Industries, to name just three, we are on the cusp of a new age of manned space travel and are likely to see major advances. Meanwhile, the Japanese STARS-Me <https://www.space.com/41278-japan-space-elevator-cubesats-experiment.html> (Space Tethered Autonomous Robotic Satellite-Mini Elevator) payload arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) on Sept. 27 and is currently being tested, so we may be significantly closer to a space elevator and the ability to move payloads into space at a significantly lower cost. I know of several companies that are looking at the benefits of  manufacturing in zero-g and near zero-g, and we are likely to see the first stages  of commercial manufacturing in space within the next 10-15 years as well as the possible mining of asteroids and the moon.  Also in the last month three separate companies (Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin and SpaceX) have announced detailed plans to put “tourists” in space within the next 2-5 years.

Jonathan Spencer
jonrspence at aol.com

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