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  #11  
Old 05-02-2008, 06:05 AM
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Well we need to keep in mind that not every thing that we understand about how our planet works and what potentially threatens our planet was discovered by looking at our planet. Perhaps the most notable example for today is the greenhouse effect. That was not discovered by observations of Earth. It's based on observations of the planet Venus. We're just applying what we see on Venus to the Earth's system, which we have incomplete data about as well even though we live on it.. That alone was a big step in and of itself as Venus and Earth are not true analogs either, although they certainly do hold some similarities. It's unclear if Venus could have been more like Earth in the past or not, and if so, what happened to it. This leaves many unanswered questions about what happened in the natural history of Venus and whether or not it can happen here. The same applies for Mars. Quite frankly the only way to potentially get some answers is to examine the planets up closely. It's not nearly as simple as taking care of what on this planet first then look to the stars when a lot of what we understand is based on what we've found by looking to the stars to begin with.
Some excellent discussion points!

I have heard the theroy about Venus/Earth/Mars being the same type(s) of planets in the past before.

You may have a point that closer examination might very well be in order.

I was mostly refering to attempted colinzation of our planets, or others in the "immideate" astrological area.
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  #12  
Old 05-02-2008, 06:24 AM
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Oh yeah, colonization is way out there as it is. I mean just mounting a scientific expedition to any of the inner planets is problem in and of itself in terms of allowing the crew to survive such a trip and still be healthy. That kind of technology needs to be developed first, then applied on a smaller scale (such as trips to Mars and back or even smaller). Then it would be best to do actual studies and surveys on the planets both manned and automated. After that, then we can look into colonization. I think anyone that wants to push for a colony now is jumping the gun just much as global warming alarmists are.

It's like saying that we need to do a complete switch to bio-fuels and do it now is potentially more destructive to the planet in the immediate sense than climate change. Developing alternative fuels is just the tip of the iceberg. Biodiesel is a technology as old as the auto-industry. But we're still trying to develop an economically viable process that can produce it not to mention an energy efficient process. Without an economically viable process to make it, no one is going to switch to it if it's going to break the bank. After that, we need to start to develop the the infrastructure for it. I mean when you think about it, we primarily produce crops to feed people. The United States produces more grain than it actually consumes and exports. That's why we can send food as humanitarian aid around the world. If we start producing biofuels like crazy right now, chances are humanitarian aid gets cut as well as an increase in food prices, which many places in the world can't afford. Economic collapse and famine are not conducive to peace on this world. Nor does it help the environment if we have to burn lots of fuel to produce some biofuel.

As far as colonization of a planet, it doesn't really help if the people that colonize a planet are rendered sterile and develop illnesses resulting from damaged genes. Not to mention setting up a colony without a good understanding of the planet their living on. Unless we want the Martian version of Jamestown.
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  #13  
Old 05-02-2008, 06:47 AM
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Oh yeah, colonization is way out there as it is. I mean just mounting a scientific expedition to any of the inner planets is problem in and of itself in terms of allowing the crew to survive such a trip and still be healthy. That kind of technology needs to be developed first, then applied on a smaller scale (such as trips to Mars and back or even smaller). Then it would be best to do actual studies and surveys on the planets both manned and automated. After that, then we can look into colonization. I think anyone that wants to push for a colony now is jumping the gun just much as global warming alarmists are.

It's like saying that we need to do a complete switch to bio-fuels and do it now is potentially more destructive to the planet in the immediate sense than climate change. Developing alternative fuels is just the tip of the iceberg. Biodiesel is a technology as old as the auto-industry. But we're still trying to develop an economically viable process that can produce it not to mention an energy efficient process. Without an economically viable process to make it, no one is going to switch to it if it's going to break the bank. After that, we need to start to develop the the infrastructure for it. I mean when you think about it, we primarily produce crops to feed people. The United States produces more grain than it actually consumes and exports. That's why we can send food as humanitarian aid around the world. If we start producing biofuels like crazy right now, chances are humanitarian aid gets cut as well as an increase in food prices, which many places in the world can't afford. Economic collapse and famine are not conducive to peace on this world. Nor does it help the environment if we have to burn lots of fuel to produce some biofuel.

As far as colonization of a planet, it doesn't really help if the people that colonize a planet are rendered sterile and develop illnesses resulting from damaged genes. Not to mention setting up a colony without a good understanding of the planet their living on. Unless we want the Martian version of Jamestown.
I've often wondered if these technologies exist allready and are being witheld.
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  #14  
Old 05-02-2008, 07:03 AM
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Well personally, I rarely lend much credence to such ideas, simply because it's so easy to swipe at figures in the dark that aren't really there. Although, there are times where technology is developed for a secret purpose but publicly used for something else. My favorite example was the discovery of the Titanic. The Pentagon was up in arms when Ballard found the Titanic. While it was what Ballard had set out to do, he needed to develop and build some new technology to do it. So the Navy agreed to fund the development of the ROVs for the expedition, BUT Ballard would have to do something for the Navy. He would have to go and survey the wrecks of the submarines Scorpion and Thresher. The Navy just used the Titanic expedition as a cover story. Of course when the Titanic was discovered, that drew a lot more public attention to the expedition than the Navy wanted, I mean they REALLY didn't expect Ballard to find the Titanic. This was declassified only recently and I heard Dr. Ballard talk about it when I had a chance to meet him back in February.

I mean withholding technology can sometimes be a lot harder than just leaving the technology out in the open and just concealing one of its applications. This is especially true here in the US with a free market economy. The military and the government doesn't necessarily do all of the development work in technologies. A lot of times they have to use private companies to develop the technology (Boeing, Lockeed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, etc NASA does a lot of research and development work through these companies as well. Private companies do need to make money otherwise they go under. And if a technology developed by a company for the government has applications in the commercial market, they can certainly use that it's just that they won't introduce it with all the bells and whistles that the government version has.
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  #15  
Old 05-02-2008, 07:09 AM
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Well personally, I rarely lend much credence to such ideas, simply because it's so easy to swipe at figures in the dark that aren't really there. Although, there are times where technology is developed for a secret purpose but publicly used for something else. My favorite example was the discovery of the Titanic. The Pentagon was up in arms when Ballard found the Titanic. While it was what Ballard had set out to do, he needed to develop and build some new technology to do it. So the Navy agreed to fund the development of the ROVs for the expedition, BUT Ballard would have to do something for the Navy. He would have to go and survey the wrecks of the submarines Scorpion and Thresher. The Navy just used the Titanic expedition as a cover story. Of course when the Titanic was discovered, that drew a lot more public attention to the expedition than the Navy wanted, I mean they REALLY didn't expect Ballard to find the Titanic. This was declassified only recently and I heard Dr. Ballard talk about it when I had a chance to meet him back in February.

I mean withholding technology can sometimes be a lot harder than just leaving the technology out in the open and just concealing one of its applications. This is especially true here in the US with a free market economy. The military and the government doesn't necessarily do all of the development work in technologies. A lot of times they have to use private companies to develop the technology (Boeing, Lockeed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, etc NASA does a lot of research and development work through these companies as well. Private companies do need to make money otherwise they go under. And if a technology developed by a company for the government has applications in the commercial market, they can certainly use that it's just that they won't introduce it with all the bells and whistles that the government version has.

I can see what your saying. Makes alot of sense to me. I'll have to go read up on the Ballard/Navy/Titanic connection.
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  #16  
Old 05-02-2008, 07:12 AM
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It's actually an interesting story. The problem Ballard had on the expedition was the fact that it was technically a joint expedition with the French. So they had to work it out so that the dives on the Thresher and Scorpion took place when the French members of the expedition were not in the control room and probably asleep. And obviously they had to conceal the true purpose of those dives from the French members.
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  #17  
Old 05-02-2008, 07:19 AM
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It's actually an interesting story. The problem Ballard had on the expedition was the fact that it was technically a joint expedition with the French. So they had to work it out so that the dives on the Thresher and Scorpion took place when the French members of the expedition were not in the control room and probably asleep. And obviously they had to conceal the true purpose of those dives from the French members.
So did they find the Thresher and Scorpion?
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  #18  
Old 05-02-2008, 07:27 AM
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Thresher was actually found in the late 1960's or early 1970's and they really didn't have to look for the Thresher (which sank the year before) because she sank during a test dive, so the locations of the wrecks were already known and had been visited before. It's just that over the decades the Navy had been concerned with monitoring the state of the nuclear reactors in both the subs. Also in the case of the Scorpion, there's always been a great deal of controversy as to what caused her sinking.
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  #19  
Old 05-02-2008, 07:29 AM
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Thresher was actually found in the late 1960's and they really didn't have to look for the Thresher (which sank the year before) because she sank during a test dive, so the locations of the wrecks were already known and had been visited before. It's just that over the decades the Navy had been concerned with monitoring the state of the nuclear reactors in both the subs. Also in the case of the Scorpion, there's always been a great deal of controversy as to what caused her sinking.
To be honest, never heard of either one of them. Seems like they were early nuclear subs?
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  #20  
Old 05-02-2008, 07:44 AM
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Yes, they were the only nuclear subs the US lost during the Cold War. Thresher pretty much made the news when she was lost, afterall, it was during a test dive which was monitored by a submarine rescue ship, the USS Skylark. They were 220 miles east of Cape Cod when the test began on April 10, 1963. The Skylark picked up communications from the Thresher indicating minor control difficulties and that the sub was going to blow ballast. When they asked Thresher if all was okay, the only response they got was the sound of bulkheads collapsing.

In the case of Scorpion, she made the news when she failed to arrive home on time. A massive search was conducted but found nothing. Eventually the wreck was found somewhere west the Canary Islands if I remember correctly. The bow was pointed east instead of west and the periscopes were raised. This indicated that the sub was at periscope depth. The direction the wreck was pointed indicated that they might have had some kind of casualty in the torpedo room. The captain probably thought it was a hot run (where a torpedo motor spontaneously starts up in the torpedo room or tube when it's not supposed to). I think the standard procedure would have been to look for a safe direction to jettison the torpedo. After the torpedo was jettisoned they would then do a 180 degree turn to activate a failsafe mechanism in the torpedo. There's been suspicion that the actual casualty may have been a torpedo battery fire that cause the warhead to cook off inside the sub. This may account for why the escape hatch to the torpedo room appears to have been blown open.


USS Thresher




USS Scorpion
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