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Captian Kirk - Finally Going to Space!


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Well, it seems William Shatner is finally going to take a trip to space, for a 15 minute sub-orbital flight aboard Blue Origin next month.

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Being a life-long Star Trek and William Shatner fan, I just had to share. I think it's cool as heck and I hope he has an amazing and safe flight, he deserves it!

I also hope Blue Origin's engineers are at least half as good as Montgomery Scott! 😁

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I was surprised to hear this news earlier today. I would be worried about sending a 90 year old to space. But I also worry about software I write killing people if involved in medical equipment or manned aviation or spaceflight. So what I'm saying is that I would never start a spaceflight company to begin with so what do I know?

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Meh, I would totally pass on sub orbital flights, on account of you are not reaching escape velocity, so you are not going anywhere or even sitting on the fence, if you look at it logically, it's just a kick in the pants. The whole idea was invented because available rockets at the time of the first man in space were only 1/3rd as powerful as those required to reach orbit, so if you can't go to space, then bring space to you, and they moved the goal-posts convincingly within reach. I don't think he's reaching the final frontier until he goes to one of the space stations or at least orbits, but best wishes to him for a safe journey.

If he wanted to leave the earth and reach space, as it is logically defined, he'd have to get into orbit as minimum. The ISS travels halfway up the thermosphere, part of the atmosphere, and so it needs re boosting to stay in orbit, using engines in Zvezda module, or a docked Russian or ESA ship. You can actually orbit the earth at a ridiculous height, like five kilometers, if you avoid mountains and maintain engines to counter atmospheric drag, same as the ISS does, but you'd use more fuel as the atmosphere is denser closer to the ground than it is at say 400kms. This leads to strange ideas like vacuum tunnel proposals in which you could actually orbit the earth for extended periods without reboosting like the ISS needs. You'd need stationkeeping so you don't hit the sides though.

And on the other hand buildings get taller all the time, and keep getting taller. If economic conditions continued to max out sufficiently before a large enough decline (this is when tall buildings go up) then eventually, at least in theory you could come up with materials and methods, probably, which allow for tall buildings at unheard of heights, like 100 miles. Which would illustrate that the top floor was in the ridiculously defined 'space' whereas you'd obviously be on and part of earth, rather than in orbit. Dear old William would just press the button in an elevator that said 'space'. Not quite the same thing.

 

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To each their own. 😁

Sub-orbital or not, no way I would pass up an opportunity like that. That would still be one heck of a thrill and as close to leaving our Earthly bonds behind as you're going to get at 90 years old, and more than a vast majority of us will in our lifetime. Plus, at his age, a traditional rocket launch into orbit would likely be more than he could handle.

I firmly believe space-based tourism will be a thing in the not-so-distant future, we have to start somewhere. Not to mention it's going to be a very long time before it becomes affordable for people outside of millionaires.

So yeah, if I had the money, I would totally do it. I'm no spring chicken anymore either and no way I am fit enough to handle a traditional rocket launch into space either. Darn science fiction inertia dampers not existing. 😆

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Agreed on sub-orbital vs orbital. It is distinction without much of a difference in this scenario. I mean, the Wright Bros didn't get very far off the ground but that in no way diminishes the achievement.

And I suspect (having not read this) that Shatner isn't paying for this trip. This was a brilliant marketing move on the part of Blue Origin ... who wouldn't want to fly to the closest edge of space the same way Captain Freakin' Kirk did?

Well, I wouldn't, actually. I've long maintained that I'm all for space exploration once we get inertial dampeners and transporters. But for those who think they might like to spend some money on this, the draw of doing what Kirk / Shatner did is going to factor into some decision making when choosing between the available options of Blue Origin, Virgin, and SpaceX.

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Sir Richard is fairly crusty himself.  Also, I think his craft is grounded due to FAA violations. LOL

Am sure there is some element of making sure Kirk’s heart is healthy and his blood pressure is not going to be an issue; that would be a publicity stunt gone wrong, otherwise.

Maybe he will do the two finger tap on the console like in that Commodore commercial.  That would really be something... a well produced tight camera shot of the catch phrase followed by a <tap> <tap>.  That would please the masses.

Jeff’s capsule is tiny and the four that flew last time had their feet in each other’s faces.

Never a Star* fan but a big human space travel enthusiast, I look fwd to it.  I’d go but would rather hitch a ride on Falcon (or Delta IV) heavy and get out of this hell hole.

 

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I'm  sure there's a  per-flight physical and a lengthy liability waiver to sign. lol

Also, I have no idea if he's paying for it or not, I didn't see that mentioned. I agree, would be great for publicity, as long as nothing goes wrong, and I truly hope nothing does.

I also agree, we need the two finder tap! It would be nice to see a Vulcan greeting tribute to Mr. Nimoy as well, but I hope he just has fun! 😛

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There is also the"Mystic Seer" Twilight Zone episode aka Nick of Time where Shat loses it in a luncheonette waiting for his car to be repaired.

The Mystic Seer itself (see eBay for knock offs) is a combo napkin dispenser, fortune dispenser.

"Will I go to space when I'm 90" ?!

How about if they fill the Blue Origin capsule with all of his greatest hits and he can go around the horn for a full retro of his life's work?  Forget about Tom Cruise beating Russia into space, Shat doing THAT would be entertainment !!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/10/2021 at 6:50 PM, Scott Robison said:

Saw this on FB and just had to share it here:

image.thumb.png.4f9a26df83515556b320fbd47eac2636.png

If there was an opportunity to rent a suit like that and form a circle around then capsule as it landed, I’d gladly pay round trip transportation out of my my pocket to make it happen.

btw, launch is 9:30am Eastern on Tuesday I believe.

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A friend asked why would anyone let someone so old go up. I responded that, its got oxygen and food in a temperature controlled environment with health monitoring - kinda like intensive care.  

Plus, if he passes on he’ll live up to “To boldly go where no man has gone before.” 😛

Space travel for the rich and famous to me is a non-event. 

 

 

 

 

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Honestly, if I was 90 and had the money... I would do it in a heartbeat.

I mean, at that age, the clock has almost ran out so why not go for the thrill of a lifetime? It's not like it's going to come along again while you're still alive, and if I don't make it, I died doing something I loved.

But... That's just me. 🙂

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To think... there was a time when William Shatner was doing Star Trek conventions just to earn a living.  And now he's got the cachet to make a trip to space. 

It just goes to show how anyone's fortunes can change, with the right circumstances. 

 

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On 10/12/2021 at 12:27 PM, Scott Robison said:

If you didn't read the linked article, you really should. It's amusing. 🙂

I did, and it's "Ensign Williams" I am most worried about, being seated closest to the airlock and talking about getting a promotion. That's a one way ticket to trouble town in original Trek. 🤣

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On 10/11/2021 at 11:27 AM, Edmond D said:

Space travel for the rich and famous to me is a non-event.

They’re just paying the high early-adopter price that will eventually lead to it becoming affordable to the masses. Like in the 50s, the rich were called the jet set. 

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On 10/15/2021 at 5:41 AM, ZeroByte said:

They’re just paying the high early-adopter price that will eventually lead to it becoming affordable to the masses. Like in the 50s, the rich were called the jet set. 

I'm not so sure it will become common in the future for the general public. The carbon footprint of a launch is probably very significant and perhaps might be what kills consumer space rides.

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On 10/15/2021 at 12:05 PM, Edmond D said:

I'm not so sure it will become common in the future for the general public. The carbon footprint of a launch is probably very significant and perhaps might be what kills consumer space rides.

There are several ways to launch a suborbital spacecraft that don't use as much energy and fuel, but they require more infrastructure than anyone is willing to invest in right now. 

I'm sure we can also eventually do a better job with liquid hyrdogen fuel - which can be made 100% carbon neutral. 

And that doesn't even get into the possibilities for efficiency improvements, like what we've seen with automobiles. Cars today use maybe 1/4 of the fuel of cars made in the 40s and 50s. Part of that is engine design, but a big part is also due to the design of the cars themselves. Fuel economy closely related to mass, and so making lighter cars makes for more efficient cars. 

With spacecraft, the same is true. Something 90% of a spacecraft's mass is fuel, and much of that fuel is spent lifting other fuel. So 1 pound of reduced orbiter mass means 10lbs less fuel is used. So materials design plays a big factor. Likewise, making engines more efficient can massively reduce the fuel cost. If we can improve engine performance by 25%, that might eliminate half of the fuel needed for launch, just due to the exponential nature of the fuel equation. 

 

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