The Big Picture: Once Upon a Time in The Future


New member
Oct 26, 2010
all i have to say is that space travel will probably not be possible from one nation alone.
especally not from america given how badly we run our own country.
but i think Gene Roddenbarey may have been trying to tell the answer that could make space travle remotely possible.
all nations working together toward a common goal.
look at Star Trek--first two series at least: both crews are run, not by one country, but buy all. even some crew members are from oher planets.
the point is that everyone thinks in a different way, so where one person will come across a problem they cannot solve, another person might be able to find the solution.
so as long as we work alone, we may never achieve warp drive.

kind of preachy i know, but that is, somewhat, how i see things.


New member
Nov 26, 2010

I must admit that I am one of the people that had not heard about this until your video. While i don't follow the space shuttle program i've always been comforted by the thought of eventually living on another planet.

The reality is that the space shuttle program was not moving us toward that goal. There is limited benefit in sending astronauts to circle the planet. Most everything that a person can do in orbit can be better accomplished by an ROV.

This is not the end!
The dream of colonization is still alive.

There is simply no catalyst at the moment. All major changes are driven by one of two catalysts.

1. Survival
2. Profit

Until it becomes an imminent concern of survival or we find a way to make it profitable the dream will lay dormant.

Private sector tourist companies will likely get us hotels on the moon in the next 50-70 years. I am both excited and fearful at the thought of corporate homesteading on the moon.

Mining (either profit or survival motivated) is the most likely activity to send us to another planet. Long haul ROV programs designed for gathering core samples is what is eventually going to get a human on another planet. Large scale mining can not be done without a human being present.



Spiritual Scientific Skeptic
Jan 26, 2010
Vrach said:
After watching the episode I was with you, space program is quite invaluable, but looks like you've got your facts wrong. They're just moving from "hey let's put a man on the moon so he can dance around ans show people he's there" to "let's get down to business and design better shuttles and technology". And if that's the case, sorry, but I'm all for it.
I'm in agreement with this point. NASA is actually getting an increase in funding with the approved budget. The Constellation program was started by George W. Bush, who told NASA to go to the Moon and to go to Mars, but he didn't give them any more money to do so. That's what the President said, so that's what NASA did, they started the ball rolling on the Constellation program. However, due to trying start up a massive program, while running another massive program (the Shuttles), and while dealing with Congressmen fighting tooth-and-nail for their local space-related industries, the Constellation program pretty much ended up dead in the water.

Shortly after he started in office, President Obama assembled a crack team of scientists and engineers to study the problems at NASA and give him the best options on how to best go forward from where we are. He went with one of their recommendations. Getting to Low Earth Orbit is now in the reach of private companies, so let them do it. NASA has always been better at doing first-class and world-class science. That's what the new budget does. It lets NASA do what it's best at and lets business do what their best at.

Personally, I'm overjoyed that their may be a manned mission to an asteroid. That would be an achievement above and beyond going to the Moon, both literally and figuratively, and it would reward us with a vast panoply of new knowledge.


That Guy
Oct 8, 2010
You have a very good point, but I'm still one of those people that sees space travel as an expensive hobby. I would love to see where space travel could go, but I also want to see what happens if you made an entire colony of midgets. So, really, it's a wash.

Also, when I look at the sky at night, I don't see stars because I live in the suburbs. Perhaps that's why I don't share your opinion...goddamn industrialization.


New member
Oct 18, 2010
we need to go to space. what happend to the human need to explore and to improuve its. since the human condition has been thrown down the drain we might as well kill are selfs because there are quite a few problems threatening to consume are world so sooner rather then being riddled with led or drowned or burned to death or dying duo to a lack of sun light i think i'd choose die quick.

to be honist if i had the choice between liveing on earth or blowing it up for a life of explore the univers starting up colonies for are race and atempting to find sentiant life i would blow up the earth with out hesitation


New member
Jun 28, 2009
First off huge fan of your work (glad to hear you did not have to work Black Friday and that actual workers do not enjoy working it). Second just want to make a point about how you would choose inhabiting outer space and other planets before world peace. My question is: aren't they kind of connected? I mean do you not need to have world peace and justice and such before you can have good space colonization, travel, contact, and such (a la Star Trek)? I know that in the visions of Firefly and Starship Troopers you do not, but still I kind of believe that space travel, colonization, and encounters with aliens would work a whole lot better if we solved our petty Earth problems like injustice, racism, sexism, and the lot first (again a la Star Trek).
What is your take?


New member
Dec 9, 2007
Don't worry Bob. You're not the only one. Though I didn't know that NASA was being disbanded.

I wish humans had some priorities. It's cripplingly depressing how collectively stupid we are as a species. It's almost as if NASA is testament to the idea that all of history's greatest thinkers bear no importance on American life, because fucking Glee is more approachable, or some crap like that.

You know, my whole life (up until very recently)I've always been very antisocial. In moments of introspection, I've always wondered why. Now, finally, I think I know the answer. Humanity sucks. Our species is selfish, vile, petty, shrewd, and I want very little, if anything, to do with it.

You know, maybe America wouldn't be as stunted as it is if we focused on things that actually mattered. There will always be poor. There will always be sick. There will always be terrorists. Can't we focus on things that will enrich our lives for the remainder of our species' existence, like, I don't know, science and education? Apparently not. We've seemed to already have made our choice and those choices make me very sad indeed.

So yeah, believe me when I say I also feel sometimes like I'm the only one in the world who gives a crap.


New member
Aug 24, 2010
If we give up our space program, the Russians win.

Come on! Lets give up NASCAR before NASA!!


New member
Dec 31, 2008
00m said:
I know that in the visions of Firefly and Starship Troopers you do not, but still I kind of believe that space travel, colonization, and encounters with aliens would work a whole lot better if we solved our petty Earth problems like injustice, racism, sexism, and the lot first (again a la Star Trek).
What is your take?
When it comes to "Star Trek," it's kinda difficult to say as "what happened on Earth pre-Federation?" is one of the most frequently-changing parts of the mythology, plus we never really see all that much of Earth society outside of Starfleet and adjacent entities. It's also worth keeping in mind that, while Earth is apparently at peace, part of the reason why is that there are NEW guys to be at war with in outer space. It's the ultimate "yeah but": "The nations of Earth are no longer at war with eachother!" Uh, yeah.. because now you're ALL at war with the Klingons! Or Romulans, or Cardassians, or Borg, or whoever... ;)

In the original series, the "backstory" is VERY thinly-sketched. We're informed that there were at least TWO major world-wide wars in the late-20th and early-21st Century (the show was made in the 60s, keep in mind) that ended in a nuclear confrontation that devastated civilization worldwide and drastically-decreased the human population. Shortly after this, however, we made a breakthrough in spaceflight technology that "qualified" human technological-capability as worth-engaging-with by the standards of other spacefaring alien civilizations; so they made contact with us and... things got real better real fast, basically.

The movie "First Contact" ultimately filled in most of the details. Short version: A guy invented a better spaceship engine for purely selfish reasons (money and scientific self-fulfillment, but MOSTLY the money) and in the process made first-contact with aliens by accident. So, Trek has world peace... but only AFTER two wars wiped out a big chunk of the species and a guy in the middle of what amounts to a nation-sized refugee camp opts to keep tinkering at space-technology as opposed to, say, running a soup kitchen or something ;)

The tricky thing is, there's no real "set" answer as to how the worldwide peace (or, at least, stability) that supposedly exists on Trek's Earth is actually maintained... it just sort of "is." We're told frequently that human culture doesn't have or need money because they've eliminated hunger, poverty, etc., but the "how" is typically vauge. We know that the various scientific leaps forward that came in the wake of partnering-up with more advanced civilizations are what took care of the food/fuel/pollution/disease problems, but exactly HOW The Federation etc. keeps people in line (or persuaded them to keep themselves in line over time) otherwise never quite gets answered.


New member
Mar 31, 2008
Bob you're a sociopath. A picture of Mrs. Lovejoy for worrying about children? Really? Here's a few things we might want to work on first. Almost all of them disproportionately affect children. I know space flight programs might result in new technology but it still doesn't seem worth it.

1 The Average Botswanan life expectancy is 39.

2 China has 44 million missing women.

3 One in five people live on less than a dollar a day.

4 More than 12,000 wives in Russia each year are killed in a domestic dispute.

5 Landmines kill a person every hour.

6 Every day one %20 of the worlds population goes hungry

7 30 million African people have HIV.

8 Each week 54 kids from American schools are expelled for bringing a gun into school.

9 Two million girls and women are subject to genital mutilation each year.

10 There are 300,000 child soldiers.

11 There are 27 million slaves.

12 120,000 women and children sex slaves are trafficked into Western Europe.

13 Children in poverty are 10 times more likely to suffer mental illness than other children.

14 The World Bank and IMF have put several countries such as Ecuador in inescapable debt with help and assassinations from the CIA.

15 Brazilian Police officers randomly shoot teenagers. Roughly half the country in under 20 (I think. I have to look up the exact stats.) and a large percentage of them are in gangs.

16 There are 44 million child workers in India, many of which work in toxic or dangerous jobs.

MSG, pollution/birth defects, unexploded cluster bombs and other bombs designed to look like toys or care packages.

You would rather put 12 people on Mars instead of making sure over 1,000,000,000 don't go hungry each day? Get off the internet and stop watching TV. Look at other types of lives.


New member
Feb 12, 2009
i was saddened when i heard about it, but i wasnt suprised. this is just another thing to add to the list of stupid decisions made by the government in the last 10-12 years, starting when they impeached clinton for getting a blowjob in office.

darth gditch

Dark Gamer of the Sith
Jun 3, 2009
I personally think that space exploration is the future of our species. Eventually, we are going to run out of resources and we'll need to mine other planets and asteroids for them. But until we have technology that makes space flight economical, it just won't be a priority. The only reason we could do it back in the day was because beating the Soviets was considered a National Security priority. We were afraid that the U.S.S.R. would put nukes on the moon or something crazy like that. So billions of dollars got thrown into R&D that ordinarily wouldn't have received a second glance. The same sort of fear in upper levels of government doesn't exist right now. The bad economy and constituent dissent are far more important to the government right now.

I think that eventually, some private industry will start exploring space for resources and that is how we'll get back off the ground.

Nocturnal Gentleman

New member
Mar 12, 2010
I'm actually happy they're cutting this program. As many have said shuttles are incredibly outdated anyway. Besides, in order to make the "cities in space" mess a reality we are going to have to hone our technology on Earth first.

We need to be able to create Giant Biodomes that can survive for decades. You know, the only thing that will truly sustain life on a dead planet. Yeah, we have a hard time keeping those things running on Earth. Need to work on them. A lot.

We need to work on safety in space travel and habitation. Again as others have brought up space isn't exactly healthy to live in. Humans did not evolve to live on mars nor a complete void.

We need to work on long distance communication. If you think living in desolate areas on Earth is lonely imagine living on a dead planet. Talk about insane isolation. Also, "space pets" might help keep people sane. No, having crew mates won't totally fix this.

Space agriculture must be perfected. We're making great progress with crops but they'll probably need a source of meat eventually (like goat). Need an efficient system for them too.

The modes of travel and the energy they need to run needs to be made a hell of a lot more efficient.

All work equipment and construction items need to be stored on the other planet from the get go. Not going to have harvest-able forests and such there.

Finally, We need to master genetics because I believe living in space will create a need for stem cell mastery. If you need an organ transplant or major surgery you aren't going to get
them from Earth. Well also need engineers because fine surgery? Work on those robots.

So, yeah none of these goals are easy but we're well on our way to making them happen. Still, putting it all together takes time. It also definitely takes the effort of far more than one country. Hell, the only way I can see this really working is if various countries are assigned a part of the overall project. In the mean time we'll just use this technology to help our condition right here. That's important for the now and the later. After all why should we leave our planet to die? What if the space colony fails? You need a stable system to fall back on. You also can't abandon anyone on Earth. We need to get education and health up to par for most as the children of the disadvantaged may be your vital future crew.


New member
Nov 8, 2007
Couple of notes:
1. commercial space flight is a growing industry (KLM (and thus Air France) hopped aboard this year for one).

2. the Russians are currently testing humans in isolation for the period of time it would cost to get to Mars with current technology.

3. Warren Ellis did this rant in the foreword of Orbiter years ago. "We cannot let manned spaceflight become our past."

So we're not dead yet but the dream is faded in the minds of lots of people, which is very sad indeed.


New member
Jun 13, 2009
Yes, it is unfortunate, Space travel and planet colonisation should be the next big step for a race that is rapidly running out of space on their current planet, and kind of done all it can do in its current state, I mean, we're making everything IN 3D now! We're clearly out of idea's, it's time to move out and go to Mars.

It's sad but I think it isn't over yet.