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(Discover)   Red Bull may give you wings, but the public and private US space program is poised to give you the Universe   (blogs.discovermagazine.com) divider line 64
    More: Spiffy, universe, Felix Baumgartner, sub-orbital spaceflight, Dragon capsules, Discover Magazine, space programs, ATK, Blue Origin  
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5783 clicks; posted to Geek » on 16 Oct 2012 at 5:10 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-16 04:00:26 PM  
I'm glad people got excited about something but sad it wasn't about the thing I like. Also Red Bull has a lot of sugar.
 
2012-10-16 05:14:08 PM  
Wow, that guy is all bent out of shape about a trolling forced meme.. Mission accomplished meme maker, mission accomplished.
 
2012-10-16 05:14:19 PM  
I'll just leave this here..
sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net
 
2012-10-16 05:17:32 PM  
If universe = 0.1x Earth radius, sure.
 
2012-10-16 05:23:14 PM  
Clearly, NASA needs to partner with Kraft and create a highly caffeinated Tang Xtreme w/ NASA branding.
 
2012-10-16 05:36:13 PM  

me texan: I'll just leave this here..


That image macro is so farking annoying. Get back to me when Red Bull is sponsoring some guy to go to Mars to jump out of a capsule, land, and start doing science experiments for four years.
 
2012-10-16 05:39:47 PM  
If there's one person on Fark who has earned the right to lambast that image, it's Bad Astronomy.
 
2012-10-16 05:42:23 PM  

me texan: I'll just leave this here..
[sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net image 480x334]


Red Bull does the International Space Station, asteroid rendezvous, Solar observatories, Kepler and Hubble and other deep-space telescopes, and the Mars rovers too? Nice.
 
2012-10-16 05:46:14 PM  
I really enjoy Mr Plaitt's articles, but I seriously doubt that the people who didn't know this was simply a stunt to sell more caffeinated, sugary beverages also don't read his blog, or if they do it's to disagree with him.
 
2012-10-16 05:50:42 PM  
I'd just be happy with advances on the exotic propulsion. Or cheap hypersonic travel. Cheap space travel. Perhaps one, that gives us all three.
 
2012-10-16 05:53:03 PM  

styckx: Wow, that guy is all bent out of shape about a trolling forced meme.. Mission accomplished meme maker, mission accomplished.


Poe's Law is a very dangerous thing. Even if the original maker meant to troll, by the nth share on Facebook, you can be sure that people who know nothing about the modern space program will have their perceptions colored by this image.
 
2012-10-16 05:54:21 PM  

Yotto: I really enjoy Mr Plaitt's articles, but I seriously doubt that the people who didn't know this was simply a stunt to sell more caffeinated, sugary beverages also don't read his blog, or if they do it's to disagree with him.


Nailed it. Those most in need of reading an article like this to give proper perspective... will never read it.
 
2012-10-16 06:01:54 PM  
I am actually surprised that while this was going on the video feed wasn't peppered with all of the legal jargon they put on commercials. "This stunt is being attempted by a trained professional on a closed course. Do not attempt at home."
 
2012-10-16 06:04:03 PM  
dl.dropbox.com

Inquisitive Inquisitor: If there's one person on Fark who has earned the right to lambast that image, it's Bad Astronomy.


He has earned the right, but that doesn't make him not-wrong.

The meme strikes true for the vast majority of nations on this planet. Redbull has invested more into aviation and high altitude research than many of the worlds governments have.
Outside of NASA (which is in a period of transition) you've got the Russians (doing what they've been doing since the sixties) a handful of EU states (trying to decide whether its time to fly or not), the Chinese (see Russia, because that's the program they intend to mimic) and outliers like Canada, Japan, Australia, and India who provide parts to more active programs while launching the occasional vehicle of their own.
There's a hundred some other flags that aren't involved even in basic research.

So depending on your perspective, Redbull is the hero of the week for doing as a stunt what their government couldn't do, even in the name of science.
 
2012-10-16 06:04:59 PM  

Nebulious: styckx: Wow, that guy is all bent out of shape about a trolling forced meme.. Mission accomplished meme maker, mission accomplished.

Poe's Law is a very dangerous thing. Even if the original maker meant to troll, by the nth share on Facebook, you can be sure that people who know nothing about the modern space program will have their perceptions colored by this image.


It fits in well with the Republican "Obama destroyed the space program" meme that you see pop up quite a bit.

I've always found this meme very odd- not because it's wrong (Bush killed the shuttle, not Obama) because most of what Republicans say today can be easily proven wrong, but because it argues against their core principle that the wonderful private market can always outperform bloated government waste.

The true irony is that this is a case where the private market *is* outperforming the government- compare the development of Falcon and Dragon to whatever bizarre mutant NASA is claiming it can create out of old pieces of the shuttle this week. (Used only because congressmen need that sweet sweet pork from the program for their voters) We needed companies like them to step in and break up the cozy relationship between NASA and the aerospace companies that was keeping launch costs so high, and they're succeeding.

Having the free market succeed is clearly anti-American.
 
2012-10-16 06:13:06 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: If universe = 0.1x Earth radius, sure.


Yeah, last I checked the "public and private US Space Program" isn't poised to go beyond low earth orbit anytime soon.
 
2012-10-16 06:17:23 PM  
Let's see Red Bull land an instrument laden minivan on Mars and then we'll talk.
 
2012-10-16 06:20:52 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2012-10-16 06:22:20 PM  

moike: [i.imgur.com image 640x960]


The lights are between the boom and the green screen, but the boom is casting a shadow? Nicely done.
 
2012-10-16 06:43:29 PM  

Glockenspiel Hero: We needed companies like them to step in and break up the cozy relationship between NASA congressmen and the aerospace companies that was keeping launch costs so high, and they're succeeding.

 

Edited to add my unauthoritative opinion.

This is one of the reasons I regard the GOP as having no integrity. You're right, free market supremacy is central tenant of their platform - except when it's inconvenient. Those town and districts held up by the space shuttle wigit factories have no reason to endure the rough transition they were complaining about when Obama started the private sector push. The shuttle program was known to be ending for years. But the plan has always to been to keep producing, no matter the practicality. So now we're stuck with the SLS (Senate Launch System, har har) as a result. Cutting this worthless program would be extremely painful in the short term. It would devastate many communities and local economies. I can understand why these areas continue to produce junk without condoning it.

The 'Obama cuts space,' meme baffles me, frankly. Yes, I wish his administration spared some rather painful cuts this year. But the gap in reaching the ISS has always been out of the man's hands. Building new shuttles would have been a bad plan and continuing to field the existing shuttles would have been worse.
 
2012-10-16 06:46:46 PM  
That wasn't bad
 
2012-10-16 06:48:17 PM  
Not that I disagree with the article but it did make me think of this image.

www.funny-potato.com
 
2012-10-16 06:49:47 PM  

Snapper Carr: Let's see Red Bull land an instrument laden minivan on Mars and then we'll talk.


I always knew the Chevrolet Lumina Van was a mutant offspring of the shuttle program

Now, we need to get those guys who launched a reliant robin a few feet in the air to make one of vans fly

and a stig to pilot
 
2012-10-16 06:56:26 PM  
He could have made some great points; instead, the article came off as a serious case of the butt-hurts.
 
2012-10-16 07:02:01 PM  
sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net

More like an "edge of space hot air balloon" program.
 
2012-10-16 07:04:08 PM  
FTFM:
My goal is to see nothing less than the permanent colonization of space by human beings, and I strongly suspect we are not that far from achieving it.

Oh, FSM! Really? I strongly suspect was are not that far from inaugurating President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Comacho.
 
2012-10-16 07:19:45 PM  

marius2: He could have made some great points; instead, the article came off as a serious case of the butt-hurts.


I know it's one of Neil Tyson's big talking points, but all we're talking about is who funds space exploration, but I'm not on the "only the government can successfully fund space exploration!" bandwagon.

Not every corporation/billionaire/whatever does everything for a profit. A lot of them put money into pet projects that normally wouldn't get any funding because they're curious what the results will be. A lot of scientific experimentation and research gets funded this way.

We have a budding generation of geeky billionaires raised on Star Trek and Star Wars looking to push the limits of space exploration, robotics, cybernetics, longevity, and a dozen other sci-fi notions, and willing to pour a ton of money into these projects.

Instead of people griping about the particulars of Baumgartner's jump, how about you go buy a Red Bull - if not for you, then give it to a friend - and let's see what these billionaire geeks can do (unfettered by stodgy committees and political agendas).
 
2012-10-16 07:43:11 PM  

Thoguh: Quantum Apostrophe: If universe = 0.1x Earth radius, sure.

Yeah, last I checked the "public and private US Space Program" isn't poised to go beyond low earth orbit anytime soon.


First to Quantum Apostrophe -- I don't usually say this because I generally think you're a bit too trollish for my taste, but... Thank you. Even speaking as a proud, American, Card-carrying SPACE NUTTER -- The hyperbole gets a bit much. (ie: Virgin Galactic... ("Galactic" mind you) which shows no signs of trying for Earth Orbit, much less "giving us the Universe")

However, Thoguh, I thoroughly expect Elon Musk to be well beyond low Earth orbit in 20 years -- being a crazy billionaire he may actually send folks to Mars. (if he doesn't go all Bond-villian first)
 
2012-10-16 07:47:30 PM  
What does Red Bull have to do with life extension, though? :-)

/tried Red Bull once
/tastes like detergent
 
2012-10-16 07:49:18 PM  
NASA's accomplihsments:
-Putting a man into orbit and bringing him back alive
-Sending a spacecraft to orbit the moon and bringing it back intact
-Putting men on the moon and bringing them back alive
-Putting communications satellites into stable orbits
-Sending a reuasable spacecraft into orbit and bringing it back intact (usually)
-Building two long-term manned space stations
-Landing a probe on Venus
-Landing multiple probes on Mars
-Putting satellites into Mars orbit
-Landing rovers wrapped in bubble warp on Mars
-Landing a rover on Mars using some freaky parachute rocket thing
-Sending two probes to interstellar space
-Sending spacecraft to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto
-Landing a spacecraft on an asteroid
-Land a probe on Titan
-Send a spacecraft to do a flyby of a comet and return samples intact to Earth
-Place a solar satellite at a Lagrange point
-Build space telescopes capable of viewing the edge of the universe, observing black holes, and detecting 700+ extrasolar planets

Red Bull's accomplishments:
-Throw a man off of a balloon without killing him

The private sector is doing some great things, but most of what NASA has done you never would have seen from the private sector alone because there is no profit in spending a probe to interstellar space. It's the job of government to assume the risk of the big projects so once the technology is proven, the private sector can step in and refine it and make it profitable.
 
2012-10-16 07:58:12 PM  

Mentat: -Place a solar satellite at a Lagrange point


A how how how how did they do that?!?
 
2012-10-16 07:59:28 PM  

BKITU: Mentat: -Place a solar satellite at a Lagrange point

A how how how how did they do that?!?


Sorry, solar observatory.
 
2012-10-16 09:03:28 PM  

Mentat:
Red Bull's accomplishments:
-Throw a man off of a balloon without killing him


Don't forget Red Bull's cutting edge experimental aircraft program.
 
2012-10-16 09:16:04 PM  

Mentat: The private sector is doing some great things, but most of what NASA has done you never would have seen from the private sector alone because there is no profit in spending a probe to interstellar space. It's the job of government to assume the risk of the big projects so once the technology is proven, the private sector can step in and refine it and make it profitable.


This. The earthobservatory stuff? Not profitable in the short term, but of immense value in the long term. Not only that, but it covers way too many industries. You get data useful for farming, forestry, geology, paleontology, etc. The benefit to any particular field might not be enough to justify the cost, but the benefit to all of them is. Going, "then let them form an industry group" neglects the fact that you don't always know what applications that sort of data might have on a given field of study/business.
 
2012-10-16 09:18:55 PM  
There's nothing wrong with bringing positive attention to the idea of space exploration. Although I usually like Phil Plait, I think he missed the an important point. Sure, it's a stunt, but it's a stunt that helps our goals, so who cares if it's less than mediocre in its extent?
 
2012-10-16 09:46:21 PM  
It still boggles the mind people confuse "really high up" with "in orbit" or "in space."
Just the fact that they never even think, how the fark does a BALLOON float into space? You know, the "lighter than air" craft.
Lighter than "air" not "vacuum."

These are the same people that wonder why if the ISS is 200mi above the earth and the Shuttle flew at 17,500 mph it too more than a few minutes to get there. (Yes, it took a couple days from launch to rendezvous.)
 
2012-10-17 12:32:57 AM  
i.imgur.com
 
2012-10-17 12:43:17 AM  

Mentat: NASA's accomplihsments:


Mentat: -Landing a probe on Venus


Eh, more or less. Landing on Venus is more a Soviet thing.
 
2012-10-17 12:46:27 AM  

Nem Wan: Mentat: NASA's accomplihsments:

Mentat: -Landing a probe on Venus

Eh, more or less. Landing on Venus is more a Soviet thing.


Can't blame them for looking for women.. except for all the Russian women they already have in stock.
 
2012-10-17 02:29:40 AM  

styckx: Wow, that guy is all bent out of shape about a trolling forced meme.. Mission accomplished meme maker, mission accomplished.


I see this is the first time you've read Phil's blog.

Actually, this was a good article, and I totally agree with it.
 
2012-10-17 03:29:59 AM  
img856.imageshack.us
 
2012-10-17 03:30:49 AM  
Lot of Americans getting bent outta shape about this one...what about every other nation. There's more than one, y'know!

/Red Bull > Trinidad
 
2012-10-17 03:55:20 AM  

Quantum Apostrophe: If universe = 0.1x Earth radius, sure.


Oh there you are. You were wanted in another thread but Great Tiger got you covered.
 
2012-10-17 06:55:55 AM  
I may have been the only person in the world who misunderstood the meme, but I took it as a mockery of pretty much every nation that isn't the U.S. Oh well. Only issue I have with it is that it's not even remotely close to space. You can't get to space in a balloon to begin with.

As for the stunt itself, it was pretty cool; the only thing that pissed me off about it was the whole "mission control" thing which was basically a few guys in a small room trying in vain to communicate with a jumper who was making all the assessments himself anyway. That the stuntman had a support team on the ground is fine; that they cosmetically imitated a professional mission control operation was grating. You're a bunch of clock-punchers for a goddamned sugar drink company watching a stuntman perform a trick, not NASA.

What really did me in is that it turns out the guy didn't break the world record by much in the first place. He broke the altitude record for manned balloon flight. Which is great, except the difference was 128,176ft to 123,800ft and the old record was set in 1966. The '66 guy even planned to jump; he just had to abort and didn't make a subsequent attempt. He broke the highest freefall record by a good 25,000 ft, but for the human part of the equation, in terms of difficulty, I don't think there's a whole lot of difference between 102,800ft and 128,176ft. That record was set in 1960.

That's not to say it was easy. It's an impressive feat, any way you slice it. But it's NOT a space program; it's a company and a stuntman throwing a lot of resources to break a record that few other people put any sort of effort into. The accomplishment is impressive on its own, but the results are more or less expected considering the 50-year advantage in tech.
 
2012-10-17 08:04:40 AM  

dragonchild: What really did me in is that it turns out the guy didn't break the world record by much in the first place.


Maybe not, but being the first dude to break the sound barrier in freefall is still pretty frickin' cool.
 
2012-10-17 09:20:52 AM  
Now, if Red Bull can figure out a way for person to re-enter the atmosphere from orbit without killing him....that would be most impressive.

/and not in a spacecraft...maybe some kind of portable heatshield, or something....
 
2012-10-17 09:24:27 AM  
Glockenspiel Hero

It fits in well with the Republican "Obama destroyed the space program" meme that you see pop up quite a bit.

I've always found this meme very odd- not because it's wrong (Bush killed the shuttle, not Obama) because most of what Republicans say today can be easily proven wrong


I'm not a republican but go ahead and bust these "myths"
* Obama cancels Moon return project

* In its budget submitted to Congress on February 13, the Obama administration zeroed out funding for NASA's future Mars-exploration missions. The Mars Science Lab Curiosity, currently en route to the Red Planet and the nearly completed small MAVEN orbiter, scheduled for launch in 2013, will be sent, but that's it. No funding has been provided for the Mars probes planned as joint missions in 2016 and 2018 with the European Space Agency, and nothing after that is funded either.

* President Obama's 2011 budget request for NASA cut the agency's Constellation program completely, effectively canceling a five-year, $9 billion effort to build new Orion spacecraft and Ares rockets.
+ Orion was eventually saved by voter backlash, but dumbed down to a useless "emergency escape capsule for the International Space Station"
+ Ares - Our next gen heavy lifter is dead and NO plans exist for any replacement.

* NASA Director Says Muslim Outreach Push 'Deeply Flawed'
Nasa director? Lets be dismissive and ad hominem him as a rich, racist, white guy. oh... he's black 

* The head of the Nasa has said Barack Obama told him to make "reaching out to the Muslim world" one of the space agency's top priorities.
Why is he making religious nuts feel warm 'n fuzzy a higher priority than you know.... our National Air and Space priorities? Go ahead and put up your poutrage defense of this stupidity, but we all know if bush had set reaching out to Catholics, Jews, Protestants or Mormons you would have gone apoplectic.

* Who's More Pro-Science, Republicans or Democrats? Another rich, white guy right? Nope, Obama supporter and FARK hero, Neil deGrasse Tyson

Why do democrats hate science?
 
2012-10-17 09:26:02 AM  
To sum up the article:

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
 
2012-10-17 10:02:48 AM  

Mentat: Red Bull's accomplishments:
-Throw a man off of a balloon without killing him


Keeping Ferrari from winning a Championship since 2008. That's been a productive and noble goal.
 
2012-10-17 10:06:42 AM  

OnlyM3: Glockenspiel Hero

It fits in well with the Republican "Obama destroyed the space program" meme that you see pop up quite a bit.

I've always found this meme very odd- not because it's wrong (Bush killed the shuttle, not Obama) because most of what Republicans say today can be easily proven wrong

I'm not a republican but go ahead and bust these "myths"
* Obama cancels Moon return project

* In its budget submitted to Congress on February 13, the Obama administration zeroed out funding for NASA's future Mars-exploration missions. The Mars Science Lab Curiosity, currently en route to the Red Planet and the nearly completed small MAVEN orbiter, scheduled for launch in 2013, will be sent, but that's it. No funding has been provided for the Mars probes planned as joint missions in 2016 and 2018 with the European Space Agency, and nothing after that is funded either.

* President Obama's 2011 budget request for NASA cut the agency's Constellation program completely, effectively canceling a five-year, $9 billion effort to build new Orion spacecraft and Ares rockets.
+ Orion was eventually saved by voter backlash, but dumbed down to a useless "emergency escape capsule for the International Space Station"
+ Ares - Our next gen heavy lifter is dead and NO plans exist for any replacement.

* NASA Director Says Muslim Outreach Push 'Deeply Flawed'
Nasa director? Lets be dismissive and ad hominem him as a rich, racist, white guy. oh... he's black 

* The head of the Nasa has said Barack Obama told him to make "reaching out to the Muslim world" one of the space agency's top priorities.
Why is he making religious nuts feel warm 'n fuzzy a higher priority than you know.... our National Air and Space priorities? Go ahead and put up your poutrage defense of this stupidity, but we all know if bush had set reaching out to Catholics, Jews, Protestants or Mormons you would have gone apoplectic.

* Who's More Pro-Science, Republicans or Democrats? Another rich, white guy right? Nop ...


but but but Rethuglikkkans! anybody but Romney! support rational thought and stuff because hope change!

/ and Curiosity was a Dumbya legacy program
 
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