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Old 10-16-2012, 04:16 PM   #41
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:28 PM   #42
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I really enjoyed watching him make history. When was the last time we [America] did something cool on the epic level? What's happened to this country? We broke the sound barrier in 1947, 23 years later we set foot on the moon. I'm surprised Obama didn't try and take credit for Felix's success.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:30 PM   #43
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I'm surprised Obama didn't try and take credit for Felix's success.

No black, no care.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:46 PM   #44
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The sponsor Red Bull is Austrian aren't they?
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:02 PM   #45
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The sponsor Red Bull is Austrian aren't they?

No, they are Yiddish.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:11 PM   #46
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The sponsor Red Bull is Austrian aren't they?
Good point.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:14 PM   #47
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We broke the sound barrier in 1947, 23 years later we set foot on the moon.
First powered airplane flight: 1903 (Wright Flyer)

First scheduled, commercial passenger airline: 1914 (Jannus, 11 years later)



First jet aircraft: 1939 (Heinkel He-178)

First passenger jet aircraft: 1952 (de Havilland Comet, 13 years later)



First supersonic aircraft: 1947 (Bell X-1)

First supersonic passenger aircraft: 1976 (Concorde, 29 years later)



First satellite launched into space: 1957 (Sputnik)

First commercial communications satellite: 1962 (Telstar 1, 5 years later)



First manned spaceflight: 1961 (Vostok 1)

First scheduled, commercial passenger spaceline: 20?? (51 years and counting.)



First manned landing on an alien planetary body: 1969 (Apollo 11)

First manned landing on an alien planetary body other than the first one: 20?? (43 years and counting.)



Why did science and exploration stop being cool?



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I'm surprised Obama didn't try and take credit for Felix's success.
Felix didn't build that spacecraft- somebody else did.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:39 PM   #48
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Why did science and exploration stop being cool?



Because the Soviet Union collapsed, so we no longer give a **** about science.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:57 PM   #49
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Why did science and exploration stop being cool?
Because the later generations were spoiled, and didn't want to sacrifice personal success for anyone else.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:17 PM   #50
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Why did science and exploration stop being cool?
Still cool in my book.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:50 PM   #51
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Because the later generations were spoiled, and didn't want to sacrifice personal success for anyone else.
I do kind of feel responsible here. My generation is responsible for:

1: End of supersonic passenger air transport.

2: End of Space Shuttle program.

3: Termination of all NASA research into next-generation manned spacecraft.

4: Termination of project for manned flight to moon.

5: Termination of project for manned flight to Mars.

6: Termination of the production of inexpensive, lightweight, RWD convertibles in the US.

etc, etc, etc.


We've gotten really good at spending lots of corporate money (in the form of sugary-drink sponsorships) to perform wacky stunts which are cool to look at but of no practical or commercial value:
  • Going Mach 1 in a rocket-car.
  • Jumping out of a balloon in a spacesuit.
  • Putting solid rocket boosters on a shopping cart.
  • Falling into a lake on poorly-engineered flying bicycles that don't fly.
  • Hurling watermelons / pianos / Morris Marinas at the ground using medieval-era siege weapons.
  • Etc.
Basically, just slightly more well-executed versions of the sort of stuff that Jeremy and Richard from Top Gear do for the amusement of the audience.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:55 PM   #52
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That is depressing when you put it like that. They retired the concord before I could fly in one, but really cost and practically as well as an over extended airframe life killed it off. I am proud to have seen the bird fly into Oshkosh.

As for the jump, I believe the scientific value was in collecting data for potential high altitude bailouts with commercial space travel now on the horizon.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:10 AM   #53
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Why did science and exploration stop being cool?
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenuge26 View Post
Because the Soviet Union collapsed, so we no longer give a **** about science.
^That and hipsters.

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Originally Posted by flying_solo View Post
They retired the concord before I could fly in one.
^ I feel your pain. I used to see them on TV and was amazed by them :/ sucks they're gone.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:53 AM   #54
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That is depressing when you put it like that. They retired the concord before I could fly in one, but really cost and practically as well as an over extended airframe life killed it off. I am proud to have seen the bird fly into Oshkosh.
True story:

2 or 3 years ago, I was doing a several-months-long job in Manhattan. I took a day off, and visited the USS Intrepid museum at Pier 86. My real interest in going was the USS Growler (a first-gen nuclear missile sub), but while there I also toured the BA Concorde G-BOAD which has been parked on the deck for several years. This specific airplane holds the world speed record for passenger aircraft: NY to London in 2 hours 59 minutes.

(Just imagine: breakfast in a cafe in SoHo, a late lunch under the shadow of Westminster Abbey, and then dinner in Georgetown. 30 years ago, this would have been possible. But no more.)

Anyway...

Inside the cabin, a boy of perhaps 10 years old and his younger brother of maybe 6 were nearby. In the manner typical of 10 year old boys, this was was a self-proclaimed authority on everything. At one point, I heard him say to the younger one "See how OLD this airplane is? They don't even have TV sets!"

Had it not been for my desire not to ruin the pristine upholstery and carpeting of the aircraft, I would have bludgeoned him to death with an armrest right then and there.

True story.




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As for the jump, I believe the scientific value was in collecting data for potential high altitude bailouts with commercial space travel now on the horizon.
Yeah, this is a valid point.

I just wish that I had some kind of faith that commercial passenger spaceflight was realistically going to be achieved within my lifetime.



A friend of mine has two round-trip tickets to the moon. No joke. In the early 1970s, Pan-Am was actually accepting reservations for lunar travel. You could legitimately purchase a lunar ticket which would be honored just as soon as lunar service was established. And he's got two of them.

Now, putting aside the fact that Pan-Am no longer exists (we'll assume that the obligation to honor the lunar tickets was transferred to Delta when they purchased Pan-Am's assets in the 1991 bankruptcy auction) I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that those tickets will never be able to be redeemed in his lifetime or mine.

First Airplane to First Airline in 11 years.

First Jet to First Jet Airliner in 13 years.

First Satellite to First Commercial Comms satellite in 5 years.

And that was it. To quote Jean-Luc Picard "This far, and no further."


We, as a species, have officially stopped giving a **** about going pushing the boundaries. About going further and faster, and Exploring Strange New Worlds. So long as we can play farmville and watch lame TV shows about spikey-haired orange people with popped collars on our phone, that seems to be enough.


And I'm to blame for all of it.
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