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View Diary: Interview with an Astronaut (94 comments)

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  •  Interesting question (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bmcphail, Night Train

    Personally, no, I could not commit to that.  And even for those who thought they could, I have to think the picture would change dramatically once they were in place on the surface.

    I suppose there are a few people on planet earth who would have either the moxy or lack of personal connections / family to do this.  But I just don't think that a normal, socially adjusted human being could take a one way trip to another planet, even in the company of other human beings with a similar psychological makeup.

    And, I'm not sure I would want to spend my eternity with other people who had that personal makeup.

    •  Many people did something similar (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ice Blue, bmcphail, adrianrf

      a few centuries ago, when they came to America.  At that time, in many respects coming over from Europe was like going to Mars.  

      And if we go further back, to when the first Native Americans came here, imagine what it was like for them?

      This isn't about exploration - this is about the growth of humanity into a multi-planet species

      Just assume you got only a hundred people to go.  But people can be like rabbits, at times...

      •  I understand that... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Black Max, DarkSyde, bmcphail

        ...and we need out-of-the-box thinkers like Richard Garriott to move our species permanently beyond the boundaries of terra firma.

        When I was 20, I was very adventurous and would have jumped on this kind of an opportunity (if offered).  Hell, I would have been willing to spend 10 years training for it.

        But I know more now than I did when I was 20.  I know more about myself, how I react to certain situations, and what I need to get through life.  It's hard to believe that most (if any) people have that level of maturity at 20 or 30.

        I'm not sure that the comparison to early earth explorers / settlers is completely analogous, either. Even they never expected to not to return, or have no further connection to the old world.  Even if so, the natural environment was basically the same in the old world and new world.

        Again, I have to believe that this could work perhaps on a long term basis (5 years?  10 years?), but not with absolutely zero prospect of a ride home - at least not for anyone who didn't have Klingon blood flowing through their veins.  ;-)

        •  I'd be suprised if (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          adrianrf

          many of them seriously planned on returning, due to cost alone.  However, the idea that we wouldn't have further connection to the earth - that would not at all be the case.  In fact, we would probably have more interaction, given today's high speed communications.  

          And the nature enviroment seems equal now, but back then, it was seen as truly alien.  

      •  Except that ... (0+ / 0-)

        it was possible to go back, and a non-trivial number did - in particular during the English Civil War when the political climate in England radically changed.

        •  If we decide to get serious (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          raboof, Black Max

          about the idea of colonization, then we would put into place an infrastructure that would allow for back and forth interaction, most likely.  Buzz Aldrin's cyclers being the quick and obvious option.  

          The point I am trying to get at (and I suspect Mr. Garriott was getting at) is that we need to consider policy implications, societal implications, and also how best to bring about large scale migration, for an off-planet move.  

      •  Small difference. (0+ / 0-)

        At that time, in many respects coming over from Europe was like going to Mars.

        Yeah, but on the American continent there was air, water, food, trees, and stuff like that. You could walk around and live your life without being totally depending on high technology for your moment-to-moment survival.

        Medicare for everyone.

        by Night Train on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:07:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not in the northern latitudes (0+ / 0-)

          we are, and have been, dependent upon clothing technology for survival in northern latitudes, particularly during the winter months, for a good long time.  And to assume that people moving from Europe to America in the 1500s, and 1600s, were merely hunter gathers ignores the deployment of a large amount of agricultural technology.  

          In short, yes its true, people didn't have to have technology for all aspects of survival, but they were dependent upon enough technology that had they eliminated it, at a minimum, their lifestyle would've been DRASTICALLY different than what it was, and potentially untenable for good parts of the year.

          We are, and have been, almost dependent upon technology for a long time.  Lets not kid ourselves.  

          •  I said HIGH technology. (0+ / 0-)

            Not cottage industry. The kind of life support tech that's required to live in a vacuum full of radiation is a bit more than a band of space colonists would be able to make for themselves.

            Space colonization is a childish fantasy.

            The romance of pioneering in space will wear off real quick once the public realizes there are no holodecks, or green bountiful parks in Moon domes, or exciting battles with fierce alien invaders, just 10 cubic meters of cramped quarters, recycling your own urine, living in your own sweat, facing the dangers of decompression daily, seeing the same goddamn faces every day, knowing that down below on Earth people are laughing, and loving, breathing fresh air and running in spring sunshine, meeting people and living life.

            Medicare for everyone.

            by Night Train on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:12:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  High technology is a relative thing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              adrianrf

              What was high tech for Native Americans was common place for European, and is cottage industry for us. Even as we step up the tech latter, its still accessable.

              I know you are convinced that humanity deserves extinction (or about that), but I consider that forcing a decision on other people who deserve the chance to make that decision themselves.  

              Besides, you are so sure people love nature, and will be leading idellic lifestyles, but space wil be near impossible, and will be like living in a coffin - I am sorry, but no, I don't buy that, and I don't believe that.  We can go big

              Besides, I am drinking someones recycled urine, and there is sweat around men, and I hardly see that many new faces as is.  

              I and I know that true for a lot of people.  

              I know you can't see it, but what we have on earth is hardly paradise, and I don't see it any worse than it would be in space.  

      •  One of many great discussions.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus

        ... of the comparison is in a book produced from an academic conference in the late 80's, called "Interstellar Migration and the Human Experience."

        It also has lots of other interesting "long now" type discussions of really large scale engineering that may be possible and necessary for sentients occupying this planet in a few billions years.  (That's if intelligent life ever develops here ;-)  Not just dyson rings/spheres, but siphoning off mass from the sun to slow the red giant expansion, etc.

        Anyway... meeting Lord British!  Wow.  That's got to be the game/computer geek version of having a Bacon factor of 1.

        Apparently, god hates phonics.

        by Jim Saul on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:52:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He's actually very accessible. (0+ / 0-)

          I met him at GenCon probably a dozen years ago, and got the chance to talk to him for a few minutes.  Nice guy, fairly humble about his accomplishments, etc.

          -7.75 -4.67

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          There are no Christians in foxholes.

          by Odysseus on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 06:36:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  What's the matter with astronauts, personally? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Richard Cranium

      I'd rather spend the rest of my days with the ones I know than the mind-numbing knuckledraggers in my town.  There's never a dull moment.

      A jackass can kick down a barn but it takes a carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn (D-TX)

      by Ice Blue on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:54:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely nothing wrong with astronauts! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Just Bob

        But I gotta say, it would be a totally different breed of astronaut / person who accepted a lifetime posting on Mars.  And what might look good at 25 might not seem so good at 45, stuck on a distant planet, with a finite group of Adam and Eve'ers.

        Maybe a Mormon colony on Mars?  Or a very tribal, socially isolated society like that...but me and my clan?  No way.

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