Minor Thoughts from me to you

Archives for Space Travel (page 1 / 1)

Virgin Galactic and the Future of Transportation

Virgin Galactic and the Future of Transportation →

Virgin Galactic is working to offer tourist trips to space in the next months to year. But they're looking beyond that too.

"If we can make significant progress on the challenge of reusable space access then I think that opens up all kinds of opportunities in the future," he said. "One of the directions that might open up is high-speed point-to-point travel on Earth -- so that you could go from London to Singapore in an hour or go from London to Los Angeles in a couple of hours.

Regular passenger service to the moon and super fast travel around the globe—this was a staple of the Golden Age SF that I read as a teenager. I hardly know how to process the idea that it might actually come true. If it does, I'll be positively giddy.

Review: The Man Who Sold the Moon

The Man Who Sold the Moon Cover Art

The Man Who Sold the Moon
by Robert A. Heinlein

My rating: ★★★★☆
Read From: 15 September 2013 - 19 September 2013

This is another collection of some of Heinlein's early stories. In this case, more of his "Future History" stories. The volume is almost worth reading just for John Campbell's introduction, explaining why Heinlein was such a great writer.

Simply put, he faced the challenge of conveying the mores and patterns of a strange cultural background, the technological background that created and sustained that culture, and the characters that inhabited that culture. He managed to do it brilliantly, over and over again, without resorting to the info dumps that are so often present in literature.

These stories, "Life-Line", "Let There Be Light", "The Roads Must Roll", "Blowups Happen", "The Man Who Sold the Moon", and "Orphans of the Sky" all illustrate that part of Heinlein's talent. And they're all enjoyable.

"Life-Line"—how would the world react if someone could predict the instant of anyone's death?

"The Roads Must Roll"—Cars do not roll upon the roads. The roads themselves roll. What might force that innovation, what kind of world would it create, and what risks would come with that world?

"The Man Who Sold the Moon"—The one man who most wants to visit the moon, who will do the most to push humanity to the moon, may be the one man who never sees the moon. Poignant.

"Orphans of the Sky"—Residents of a generational starship believe that The Ship is all there is to the universe. They've systematically reinterpreted all of the scientific texts as various forms of allegory and myth. But what happens when one man is convinced of the truth and tries to act the missionary to his fellow voyagers?

This collection is definitely worth a read.

That's How a Dark Age Begins

That's How a Dark Age Begins →

Jeff Greason, President of XCOR Aerospace, talks at TEDx about being a rocket scientist and making space pay — and why he got into commercial space travel in the first place.

"Daddy, is it really true that they used to fly to the moon when you were a boy?" That shook me and it still does. It shook me because that's how a dark age begins. A dark age is not just when you as a civilization have forgotten how to do something. It's when you forget that you ever could.

... We have done fewer than 500 space flights since the 1960s. The Wright Brothers did more than 700 glider test flights, in preparation for their first powered flight. The space age has not yet opened. We are at the very beginnings of it.

I think commercial space travel, research, and development is one of the coolest things to happen in a long, long time. The resources in space are limitless — water, minerals, metals, energy and more. Let's get out there and get it. There's no reason that earth's billions have to remain poor.

I can't wait until I can book a flight on a rocket.