[ExI] rebuilding a saturn v today

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 29 13:19:14 UTC 2011

----- Original Message ----
> From: spike <spike66 at att.net>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Sent: Sat, March 26, 2011 3:34:07 PM
> Subject: Re: [ExI] rebuilding a saturn v today
> >... On Behalf Of Stefano Vaj
> Subject: Re: [ExI] rebuilding a saturn v today
> On 26 March 2011 20:47, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> >> I think it is safe to say most people no longer look to space as the
> final frontier...
> >...Cultural decadence and slowing of change not having any part at all in
> such POV? And yet falling back on "inner space" and complaining about the
> technical hardship and/or pointlessness of previous goals is hardly a new
> phenomenon in human history...-- Stefano Vaj

It does kind of remind one of how the early Romans built vast networks of roads 
leading to every part of their empire, while the later Romans could not even 
maintain what their ancestors built.
> Cultural decadence has *everything* to do with it.
> I am not arguing that the task is too difficult technically.  Clearly it
> isn't.  I would argue that the chances are now remote of getting enough
> money charging in the same direction.
> Most governments will not be able to get that done.  The US government is
> waaaay out of the running for that, and should be out of it anyway: they
> accomplished it fifty years ago.  Now it must pay up.  China, maybe.  Before
> we can do much with this however, we need to balance the energy budget.

Yes. It really is frustrating for anyone trying to sell ambitious engineering 
projects to the U.S. government these days. I think part of the problem is 
"paralysis by analysis" where consultants are overpaid to come up with 
so many reasons why something won't work that nothing actually gets done. Check 
out Table 1-1 here:


Just a couple of generations ago the U.S. was able to design, build, and 
deploy the Manhattan Project (2.5 yrs), the Apollo Program (8 yrs), and the 
SR-71 Blackbird Program (3 yrs) in a total time of 13.5 years. These days it 
takes us 14 years just to develop the F-22 jet fighter.
The monetary expenditure trends are not that much better. Adjusted for inflation 
to modern 

gigadollars (i.e. billions) here are estimates for the cost of these projects: 
Manhattan Project G$22, Apollo Program G$98, SR-71 Program G$12, F-22 Program 
G$65. FWIW none of the first three were designed using computers . . . only 
slide rules.

Stuart LaForge 

"There is nothing wrong with America that faith, love of freedom, intelligence, 
and energy of her citizens cannot cure."- Dwight D. Eisenhower


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