Spanish Defence has modified the uniform chapter of the rulebook budding recruits use to prepare for the state entry exams to the country's Armed Forces. According to Spanish army regulations.
The thing about this book, and many others of similar vein from the same period, are two basic assumptions: The basic concept was that while government might lease a major chunk of the station, it was the commercial aspects that made it a viable concept.
Nobody was going to foot the bill for government to build its own station. Back then, it never occurred to futurists like Del Rey that spaceflight would become the exclusive domain of governments. And while there were numerous scifi stories about first Contact and exploration, a lot of the hard, practical scifi of the time was about the commercial exploitation of the solar system.
Writers of hard speculative fiction, such as Heinlein and Del Rey and Nourse wrote stories centered on the concept of exploitation, mining, farming, manufacturing, terraforming, colonization, expansion, with exploration as a sort of byproduct — these were the themes that tied together the Winston seriesand it was a common theme of Heinlein and Clarke and Asimov and the other greats who were hardly starry eyed dreamers.
That what Vespucci and Drake and all those other explorers were doing. Unfortunately or not, dependinghistory rarely, if ever, repeats itself. For many reasons — much of which involves the paranoia of the Cold War — access to space became almost exclusively the domain of governments, and only a few governments at that.
Because of this, human access to space is far, far beyond the ordinary earthbound human being and is the exclusive purview of a tiny cadre of highly trained government employees or the very, very rich.
What we have is a space program. This is not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself — depending entirely on what the objective is. The objectives of our space program are many and varied, but none of those objectives will ever lead to the kind of self sustaining commercial ventures visualized in the popular speculation of the Golden Age.
The Shuttle is a perfect example. Government cannot build a spaceship — at least not a very efficient one. The Shuttle as first designed was supposed to make access to space simple and cheap. The Shuttle was supposed to do that for us.
Instead we got just exactly the opposite. To them, the Shuttle meant, and still means, jobs and pork and votes. By the time Congress got done redesigning the Shuttle it was astounding that the damned thing could even clear the pad.
Gone were the safety features like air-breathing engines that would have let the ship abort a landing and make a once around on final approach, gone was the piloted reusable main booster, gone was the simplicity that would have gotten rid of much of the previous Apollo infrastructure.
Gone too was the once-a-week turnaround time from recovery to relaunch that would have made efficient use the economies of scales and reduced ground to orbit costs to dollars a pound instead of tens of thousands of dollars per pound. To this day parts are manufactured all across the country, many as far from the launch and assembly site as it is possible to get and still be on the same continent, because Senators and Representatives from powerful states like California insisted that it be so.
It is the single most expensive engineering project in the history of the human race when you fold in everything necessary to build, maintain, and crew it — and yet, what is its purpose? What does it do? As a science platform it is a of limited utility and as a node of commercial development it has little or no utility at all.
Maintaining the ISS requires a significant fraction of our budget and requires that whatever launch vehicles we build have to be able to reach it and service it. Where does that leave us? But we are never going to get anywhere like this. At the time Dr. It remains, more than four decades later, an eloquent statement of the value of the space exploration endeavor.
Born in Germany inDr.
Stuhlinger received a Ph. Army at Fort Bliss, Texas. Stuhlinger received numerous awards and widespread recognition for his research in propulsion.
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