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Thread: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

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    Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    SpaceShipTwo reached an altitude of 53.5 miles, but the Kármán line (space) is 62 miles up.
    Read more.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    calling it space is a bit rich then.

    Also there's a * but no clarification footnote, so I'm eagerly waiting the 2077 Hexus comp now. It's as sure a prediction as all those dreamers who said England were "guaranteed" to beat Italy last night.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Space is a weird term for up there with all that debris flying about. Any more satellites going up there will require installation of traffic light systems before long. lol.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    calling it space is a bit rich then.

    Also there's a * but no clarification footnote, so I'm eagerly waiting the 2077 Hexus comp now. It's as sure a prediction as all those dreamers who said England were "guaranteed" to beat Italy last night.
    There's no hard line defining space, but the NASA definition does have good justification
    https://youtu.be/0b1VgtyIQN0?t=652

    TL;DW: Satellites can stay in orbit for a fair amount below 100 km, but not below 80 km. The definition of space is where orbital mechanics dominate keeping things in the sky (instead of aerodynamic lift), so this shows that the average atmosphere (it changes with the weather) runs out about 80 km up - internationally this was rounded to 100 km, but the americans rounded it to 50 mi (~500m off the calculated value)

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Is it really space? Kinda a moot point. You get to go vertical in a rocket up to mach 3, float around for 5 minutes and then plunge back down. I think the feather thing is a seriously cool way of solving their design problems.

    It's a shame it can't go higher and potentially be used for cargo. But for its intended use (giving rich people a thrill), it's an excellent proposition.

    Also looks like an excellent platform for launching missiles for when Beardy goes full evil billionaire... or as a way of getting operation Yewtree to back off.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by philehidiot View Post
    Is it really space? Kinda a moot point. You get to go vertical in a rocket up to mach 3, float around for 5 minutes and then plunge back down. I think the feather thing is a seriously cool way of solving their design problems.

    It's a shame it can't go higher and potentially be used for cargo. But for its intended use (giving rich people a thrill), it's an excellent proposition.

    Also looks like an excellent platform for launching missiles for when Beardy goes full evil billionaire... or as a way of getting operation Yewtree to back off.
    Can i say that it's intended use is a poor proposition. Rich people flying to the inner edges of space for a quick (but expensive) "cheap" thrill, while polluting the atmosphere with more CO2 and other gases just for the 5 minutes of weightlessness. We should tax this on environmental grounds so much it either prevents it from being viable, or makes mega bucks for the state to redistribute into green energy schemes and the like. Wealth redistribution on a voluntary level. If you're that rich pay 10x more and do some good at the same time.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by HEXUS View Post
    Whether 53.4 miles high is space or not is the subject of some debate.
    I think internationally 100km is the point where space "starts". Even at that altitude the earths atmosphere doesn't simply stop, heck even the international space station isn't technically outside of earths atmosphere, it's just in a thinner part of it.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    Can i say that it's intended use is a poor proposition. Rich people flying to the inner edges of space for a quick (but expensive) "cheap" thrill, while polluting the atmosphere with more CO2 and other gases just for the 5 minutes of weightlessness. We should tax this on environmental grounds so much it either prevents it from being viable, or makes mega bucks for the state to redistribute into green energy schemes and the like. Wealth redistribution on a voluntary level. If you're that rich pay 10x more and do some good at the same time.
    The same argument goes for aircraft for holidays, driving except for work, for skydiving, for motorcycles, for shooting... where does it end when you go down that road? You can start on things like mobile phones being excessive and luxuries that hurt the environment. At the end of it, you're limiting the number of kids people can have by diktat and having everyone living in large blocks of flats. You might also look at the lifestyle of most people in western countries from the perspective of poor countries. They'd probably have something to say about a lot of the excessive luxuries we take for granted.

    I can agree on taxing it significantly and I also agree that there's some pollution from it that's not necessary. But how many other things start out as toys for the rich and filter down to the masses? Well, cars for one. If you want people to develop such things, you can't tax it to hell and back from the start. Maybe when a few companies are doing it and competing on price, they can pay towards offsetting the environmental cost. Frankly though, there's lower hanging fruit than an occasional few minute rocket burn and the equivilant of a short haul 747 run.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    I watched it live on YouTube along with the flight a few weeks before, it's an exceptional bit of engineering including the plane that carries it up to 45,000 feet, plus it looks awesome.

    Looking forward to watching the Blue Origin launch too in a few weeks, but I won't comment on what that looks like though..

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by philehidiot View Post
    But for its intended use (giving rich people a thrill), it's an excellent proposition.
    If Musk ever gets Starship doing long haul flights, then you could book a flight from say London to Tokyo via a hop outside the atmosphere. That could make these pure tourism jumps seem quite lame as well as pointless.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by philehidiot View Post
    The same argument goes for aircraft for holidays, driving except for work, for skydiving, for motorcycles, for shooting... where does it end when you go down that road? You can start on things like mobile phones being excessive and luxuries that hurt the environment. At the end of it, you're limiting the number of kids people can have by diktat and having everyone living in large blocks of flats. You might also look at the lifestyle of most people in western countries from the perspective of poor countries. They'd probably have something to say about a lot of the excessive luxuries we take for granted.

    I can agree on taxing it significantly and I also agree that there's some pollution from it that's not necessary. But how many other things start out as toys for the rich and filter down to the masses? Well, cars for one. If you want people to develop such things, you can't tax it to hell and back from the start. Maybe when a few companies are doing it and competing on price, they can pay towards offsetting the environmental cost. Frankly though, there's lower hanging fruit than an occasional few minute rocket burn and the equivilant of a short haul 747 run.
    This is worse due to the altitudes involved. A-level chemistry had a module on greenhouse effect and ozone depletion (two separate things - both atmospheric) and the effect of releasing gases into the stratosphere and above is far worse than low level stuff at ground level and in the troposphere. Jumbo jets spewing CO2 at 30000 ft are worse than the same volume released at ground level. I can't remember all the equations now but these things go way higher than jumbos and 747s. a U2 was 70000ft - that's what 14/15 miles? These rockets are going right up to the mesosphere or whatever the outer bit is called. It's possible we were taught garbage, but I'd want convincing of it to write it off as such.

    There is a big difference between owning a car to get around and even renting one to go on holiday vs a 5 minute weightlessness titillation.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    If Musk ever gets Starship doing long haul flights, then you could book a flight from say London to Tokyo via a hop outside the atmosphere. That could make these pure tourism jumps seem quite lame as well as pointless.
    aha, at 30mph DDD

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    The 'fix' for global warming isn't restrictions via taxation but in technological development.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by TeePee View Post
    The 'fix' for global warming isn't restrictions via taxation but in technological development.
    quite. but until then tax these rich idiots properly to make up for the offshore funds they're not paying on please instead of letting them mess around in inner space and increasing pollution while they're at it.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    This is worse due to the altitudes involved. A-level chemistry had a module on greenhouse effect and ozone depletion (two separate things - both atmospheric) and the effect of releasing gases into the stratosphere and above is far worse than low level stuff at ground level and in the troposphere. Jumbo jets spewing CO2 at 30000 ft are worse than the same volume released at ground level. I can't remember all the equations now but these things go way higher than jumbos and 747s. a U2 was 70000ft - that's what 14/15 miles? These rockets are going right up to the mesosphere or whatever the outer bit is called. It's possible we were taught garbage, but I'd want convincing of it to write it off as such.

    There is a big difference between owning a car to get around and even renting one to go on holiday vs a 5 minute weightlessness titillation.
    CO2 isn't the main issue with Virgin Galactic. They use quite a dirty fuel which dumps large enough amount of oxides of nitrogen that I'm surprised it was allowed. I suspect that's something they may change if possible as it's not a good look. Or maybe Beardy is hoping his teeth will distract people.

    But, unfortunately, if you decide there's a line where people can't pollute for recreation, you're on a slippery slope into tyranny. How much is too much? Who decides? What's worse is the people who do decide on such things are often owners of private jets and helicopters which robs them of all credibility. We see the boundaries between excessive and normal recreational pollution from a perspective of what is normal to us. Go back 60 years and ask people if it's necessary to jet off around the world on holiday. We see that as normal and the baseline, but if you took this argument back to a time where wealth and flight availablity was much lower, people would see those jetting off abroad in the exact same way as you're seeing Beardy. And if you questioned them getting into the family car to go to the beach for a couple of days, they'd say "well that's reasonable". There's a big difference between going to Blackpool for the weekend and jetting off to other countries to get yer jollies in the sun.

    Where do you stand on skydiving? Planes are used which pollute for a 5 minute gravity titillation. Or trackdays where vehicles can burn fuel in horrific ways for an hour or so of... some titillation. Where's the line and who draws it?

    Is the science part of Beardy's space jobbie acceptable? Giving scientists cheaper access to zero-G for their experiements?

    It's like motion in space, it's all relative to your point of observation. Where to draw a line is very subjective and will cause consternation.

    What's worse is it's almost impossible to tell where people caring for the poor / environment begins and where resentment of the rich starts / ends. We see a lot of that corruption in this discussion as well.
    Last edited by philehidiot; 13-07-2021 at 01:07 PM. Reason: sentences.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    quite. but until then tax these rich idiots properly to make up for the offshore funds they're not paying on please instead of letting them mess around in inner space and increasing pollution while they're at it.
    While changing taxation is a worthwhile goal, one of the Billionaires playing at Space is set to provide access to internet in remote areas across the world, potentially revolutionizing education in the third world, and bringing the benefits of higher technology and lower emissions to areas that really need it. Long term, that's more benefit than any environmentalist has ever achieved. He also does a thing with electric cars.

    Meanwhile, the 'environmentalists' are the reason clean, renewable, nuclear power isn't the primary source of generation worldwide.

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