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Space Science

Russian Firm Plans Commercial Space Station 133

astroengine writes "Buoyed by plans for commercial space taxis, a Russian company plans to build and launch a privately owned outpost in orbit for tourists, scientists and other paying visitors. RSC Energia, which designed and built the Russian modules of the International Space Station, is partnering with Russian commercial space startup Orbital Technologies to manufacture the new hub, currently known as Commercial Space Station."
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Russian Firm Plans Commercial Space Station

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2010 @02:14PM (#33750296)

    against prostitution in space.

    Oh yeah, Zero-G Porn!

  • by oldspewey ( 1303305 ) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @02:21PM (#33750422)
    Money shots will present a much greater hazard to the film crew.
  • by jgagnon ( 1663075 ) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @02:28PM (#33750516)

    That's hilarious because not that long ago deep sea exploration was impractical and before that even flights through the air were impractical. Just because something is "utterly delusional, impractical, unrealistic, ignorant" now doesn't mean it will always be that way, unless your mind chooses to make it so.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2010 @02:42PM (#33750712)

    Do you really think that it will always be so expensive? Things progress. Right now the idea for this space station is crazy. The amount of money that would need to be spent on it is astronomical. However, that may not always be the case as better rockets are developed and newer technologies emerge. I suppose for that to happen, sometimes it takes the right guys to make the right push in the right direction. Is this company made up of those right guys? I don't know, but it's at least encouraging to see people making the push, even if it isn't really feasible in the present.

  • Re:Catering? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Thursday September 30, 2010 @02:45PM (#33750752)
    If that's a Demolition Man reference, I hereby proclaim you winner of the Internet.
  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Thursday September 30, 2010 @02:49PM (#33750822) Homepage Journal

    Zero G porn? I don't want to watch some other guy banging her in zero G, I want to bang her in zero G myself!!

    Now get off my lawn, kid. Sheesh.

  • by c6gunner ( 950153 ) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @03:08PM (#33751062)

    There's nobody who appreciates capitalism quite as much as those who have lived under communism.

  • by Nyeerrmm ( 940927 ) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @03:14PM (#33751148)

    You're missing the point. The most important thing we can do in space is to live there. Slowly but surely we need to learn how to live away from and independent of the Earth.

    At least thats what those of us who fight to do these things think. Its not about nationalism or even science -- you may disagree, but then you're making the wrong argument.

  • I could ask how does the ability to fly in general benefit mankind? Answer that, and you have a similar answer for spaceflight.

    BTW, commercial spaceflight isn't a theory or something in the far off distant future. It is happening right now and in fact you wouldn't be reading these words at the moment if spaceflight never happened. Think about that and then tell me why you aren't trolling at the moment. Yes, I realize that IP packets typically don't go into space, but computer technology wouldn't be anywhere near what it is right now if it wasn't for trying to get into space.

    By far and away the people of the Earth are living healthier, longer, and more fulfilling lives because of spaceflight and in particular commercial spaceflight (as opposed to government sponsored spaceflight) than if it never existed. I can give examples but it isn't worth my time.

  • by fiannaFailMan ( 702447 ) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @03:32PM (#33751430) Journal

    Ah, the old "stop exploring space and spend the money on social programs instead" argument. Odd how it only gets applied to space exploration but never the much bigger military budget.

  • by Teancum ( 67324 ) <[ten.orezten] [ta] [gninroh_trebor]> on Thursday September 30, 2010 @03:34PM (#33751468) Homepage Journal

    Don't let the government throw its money away if you think flying into space is a bad idea. But please just don't tell me I can't spend my own money to do that if that is something I choose to do. People throw money away to do silly things like take a submarine down to the deck of the Titanic in order to hold a wedding. If they want to do something equally silly by flying into space, why are you being such an ass by telling them or myself that I can't do that?

  • by fiannaFailMan ( 702447 ) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @03:37PM (#33751494) Journal

    We evolved here. Here is where we function optimally.

    We evolved in Africa. As the climate changed we decided it might be a good idea to spread out a little and try to adapt to living in a different environment. Result? We're still here after all this time. I'd like to think that we won't spend the rest of our existence with all our eggs in the single basket of Earth. Until we become a space faring race, we're one asteroid away from extinction. The sooner we diversify, the better off we're going to be.

  • by khallow ( 566160 ) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @03:37PM (#33751500)

    At this current juncture, how to does commercializing space benefit mankind?

    It's already been profound. For example, we now have the ability to instantaneously communicate from almost anywhere in the world. For example, I used a DirectInternet link back in 2003 while I was roughly 75 miles away from anywhere that had internet. While most satellite applications (outside of telecommunications and recently Earth imaging) are publicly funded, they also are mostly developed by commercial space businesses. So that means a lot of things like nuclear weapon and rocket launch detection, weather prediction, agricultural forecasts, etc have been possible due to commercial contribution.

    While we're busy launching a select few into the upper exosphere and beyond, some of us think that maybe we should focus such creative energy to supporting the 'least of these' as well.

    Too bad that we're unable to do more than one beneficial thing at a time. I guess we'll have to feed the children first. Then maybe fix the roads once that's done. Fix the environment next? Sure, sounds good. Maybe a few millennia from now, we'll be far enough down the list to do manned space flight. Assuming that the old problems haven't come back by then.

  • Once a year (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brett Buck ( 811747 ) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @03:45PM (#33751620)

    The Russians announce their "plans" to build a new space station, to start a trip to Mars, create a fusion reactor, etc. periodically. It's ready to go, all the work has been done, all they need is someone to pony up money to actually finish the work. It's not a lot different from the Nigerian Scam.

  • by FrozenFOXX ( 1048276 ) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @03:58PM (#33751828)
    No, I think you're still missing what the GP is talking about as it's all-encompassing with respect to your argument.

    Yes, it's hard to do. Exactly when has that ever stopped us before? You seriously cannot look five feet from you and not see something that just a thousand years ago (and really short period of time) wasn't completely and totally impossible in every sense of the word. The only constant in our knowledge is that what we know today will someday be replaced by a greater understanding. To quote the oft-quoted line, "Imagine what you'll 'know' tomorrow."

    As far as it being pointless to survive I not-so-humbly disagree. Part of the point OF being mortal is that we are supposed to survive. It's what we do. It's what we've done for centuries, millennium, and will continue to do until past the point where it would seem impossible to continue to (as we have before). We're wired that way and damned proud of it for better or for worse. The birthright of living things is to rage against the all-encompassing void. No creature and especially humans have ever achieved anything of value by sitting around and making ourselves comfortable and waiting for death. If you'd like to be the first I don't think anyone else will mind; we'll be too busy trying to make some sort of a difference for future generations, enjoy our current generation, and honor past generations.

    But to summarize, yes, these things are hard. Moving off-world is a seemingly impossible task. But we were born to do impossible things. We have done impossible things. We like doing impossible things.
  • Well, we *could* (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2010 @08:58PM (#33754836)

    We could get astronauts to the space station then, just the DOD doesn't want to give up their ultimate crown jewels, the black budget advanced air/spacecraft/hybrids they are operating now. As it is now, they have ~marginal~ plausible deniability of such things as the TR3-B.

    Unless one really believes they just ceased developing hyper advanced craft in total secrecy after spirit and nighthawk. I know where I would place my would be on them being true to form and always being 20-30 years ahead of what they admit to publicly.

  • by Teancum ( 67324 ) <[ten.orezten] [ta] [gninroh_trebor]> on Thursday September 30, 2010 @11:31PM (#33755592) Homepage Journal

    A robot might be useful, but having a skilled technician on site who doesn't have to deal with time delays as a result of distances and can grab another sample immediately after forming a reasoned hypothesis is something that a robot can't do.

    By no less than the authority of the Mars Rover program himself has suggested that he would take an astronaut over robotics any day. Robots are useful for initial surveys and to head into situations that are dangerous, but having somebody there or at least quite close is going to get you infinitely much better science than trying to do science from an air conditioned office on the Earth and having to strain to figure out what exactly it is that you are seeing or having to deal with equipment that is broken before you even start the investigation.

    I'm not saying that all robotic exploration ought to be halted, but robotic exploration is something that is done in conjunction with people, not something isolated by itself. It is also something that has diminishing returns until you get somebody up there. Dr. Harrison Schmitt did more real science on the Moon during the three days he was up there than most of the science that covered what was on the Moon previously. Arguably he did more there during that time than the rest of the robotic missions to the Solar System combined... except for the fact that there was so much low hanging fruit to be grabbed with robotic probes that some really cool things were discovered in spite of the limitations of robots.

    The only think that stank about Apollo 17 is that Harrison Schmitt wasn't able to do a follow-up investigation based upon what he found. Well that and no other scientist was permitted to go to the Moon.

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.