This whole story passed me by/went over my head.
Wally Funk has finally gone to space, accompanied by the Bezos bros and Oliver Daemen aboard Blue Origin's sub-orbital New Shepard. It has been a long time coming. Funk was part of the group dubbed the Mercury 13, a group of women who underwent what were essentially the same tests as NASA's Mercury astronauts. Infamously, the …
There is no getting away from the fact that New Shepard looks like a sex toy. Not one I'd care to insert, but very definitely dong-shaped.
SpaceX does not remind me of such a thing, although "Falcon Heavy" is now my favourite term for certain days of the month.
I don't get the comparisons between VSS Unity and a vagina. And I am something of an expert in these matters. Branson himself, on the other hand is a proper .... well I'll see you next Tuesday.
"comparisons between VSS Unity and a vagina. And I am something of an expert"
Myffy, as in the female Welsh name Myfanwy?
Bathgate Job Centre employed a Myfanwy Rumbles but due to poor pronunciation the receptionist would often tannoy, "My fanny rumbles. My fanny rumbles, please contact reception"
It relieved the ennui of signing on or working there, and if you think about it the victim of the joke wasn't the Welsh lass, it was the unwitting receptionist making the mistake.
@Danny_2 oh the joys of explaining Welsh pronunciation. A common mistake is someone pronouncing the final syllable "-way" rather than "-wee". Plenty of toilet humour potential there.
On other occasions the "w" gets missed. Once thought of inviting some Indian colleagues round for a fry-up but the thought of "Breakfast at Miffany's" was too much to bear.
No lie, age ten I knew every Max Boyce routine, and every Billy Connolly routine.
I'm not a fan of rugby, but age 14 I'd attend every Welsh after party in Edinburgh. I'd drink all their drinks and they would laugh their heads off because when they noticed I'd sing Max Boyce rugby songs. English and Irish rugby fans were not so amenable, they'd beat me up. Even Scottish bar staff were not so forgiving, they beat me up worse. As you do/did to kids. But the Welsh were party people. Loved them.
My sexiest foreign accents are Welsh and French, in that order. I would come to "Breakfast at Miffany's" if I still ate breakfast, you sound delicious. Here's to the day we two nations become a united Britain.
Thank the lord you are Welsh!
"My workers are living in tents, so I don't have to pay them a living wage and thus I could have all this money for the rocket fuel. Those poor buggers could watch me through the holes in their tents." - Jeff
He is taking a lot of crap about that. And he probably should. However, like almost all the very wealthy, he won't care.
I, rather unfortunately, resemble that remark.
I watched it during the reception for my cousin's wedding. It was so important a whole room of Scots stopped drinking to watch it. Rarely has such an event been seen. (Moon landing or Scots not drinking at an open bar - take your pick)
Shame they had to bring mythology and fairy stories into a scientific endeavour.
And that is why I received this comment : "It’s time for people to understand that government USA bunch of lying devils. Trust God and Trump in that order. God is using President Trump to expose the truth about these lying devils like God used Noah, Moses and Abraham."
Yep. I was at the National Space Centre the other weekend and there's a whole section on the female astronaut trainees who underwent all the training, in general passed with better scores and a higher ratio of them passing than their male counterparts... and then were all unceremoniously dropped because they were female.
"It's rich idiots throwing money at vanity projects that makes stuff practical and affordable for the masses. ... cars, ..., umberellas"
According to Marcel Proust*:
"When it rains, the rich ride in carriages, the bourgeois have their umbrellas, and the poor ... get wet."
*'In Search of Lost Time' (I forget which volume, sorry).
Agreed, but eg railways: 150 years ago when the (UK) royal family travelled by train.
Post COVID you virtually have to pay someone to get on a train.
Or the other way round: 200 years ago you had to be poor to be press-ganged to get onto a sailing ship.
Nowadays sailing is you a wealthier man's sport.
Yes, take the long view. YMMV.
The 'rich idiots' are showing commercial human space travel is likely in the reasonable future. Branson's and Bezos' ventures are private companies not government agencies. It is telling 2 companies were able to successfully complete a suborbital space flight with people on board who were not astronauts. Someone has to be the first to do so. There is a lot of work to do before the masses go on space flights but this is the start.
Also, Branson and Bezos should a great deal of confidence in their company's designs to go up themselves. This point should not be overlooked.
No - he is spending money to get to other planets, not just to get to space for a brief visit, but to have long term colonies on other planets.
It's virtually aiming for the stars (technically only one of the wandering stars, but the sentiment of the phrase applies), and in building that capability SpaceX have become a prolific and successful launch provider.
That he is not the glorious hero so many are depicting him as. The ones that totally ignore Sputnik, Gagarin, Apollo etc. They were the real heroes.
Funny that Bezos is demanding billions in state help isn't it. NASA could do with that and do a better job. Similarly with all the money given to Musk.
What he is is a man with a vision, who has made extraordinary wealth and is now spending vast amounts of that wealth on projects which further that vision.
Bezos wailing that he needs an enormous bung from congress is pitiful, I think we can all agree with that.
Electrification of transport, it's not a new idea - but Tesla has done more to make it mainstream than most others, by lighting a fire under existing manufacturers, showing what can be done.
Space travel - SpaceX nearly collapsed, but then they managed to get an F1 to orbit, and then developed the F9, and then started bloody landing the boosters and flying them again, and again, and again.
There is still a good chance that SLS/Orion will reach orbit before Starship, but if you count doing 85% of a lap as basically orbit then it will be a close run thing - if the first starship booster flight goes without a hitch then they'll get there first, if not then SLS has a chance in November - though SpaceX might turn up for a second launch by then...
Yes - much of their funding comes from NASA, but that's part of the commercial supply services which anyone can bid on and supply.
The boring company - Yeah, not sure I see the value in this vision particularly. But I don't expect everything he touches to be fairy dust.
Also, Branson and Bezos should a great deal of confidence in their company's designs to go up themselves.
You do know that Branson has been selling his Virgin Galactic shares?
While there is some impressive technology involved, these are largely vanity and some of these projects have unresolved enviromental projects including: space tourism, really? Though what happens with the aluminium from Musk's satellite constellation is probably a more pressing problem.
It's like cheering athletes who used performance enhancing drugs to achieve record results.
Had they paid workers correctly and paid fair share of tax, they wouldn't have money to spend on such vanity projects and at the same time governments would have funds to continue meaningful space exploration.
I personally don't think that compromised quality of life of millions is the right sacrifice, just so that a couple of privileged buffoons could brag about being in space. Technically we all are in space.
"Had they paid workers correctly and paid fair share of tax, they wouldn't have money to spend on such vanity projects..."
That's quite possibly correct.
"...and at the same time governments would have funds to continue meaningful space exploration."
I would be very sceptical that the state of the USA space program would be much improved by Bezos being taxed at 100% of his wealth; the small percentage of that that made it to NASA would probably be allocated by Congress to their local interests (e.g. Boeing and the SLS).
Yes, we need to seriously reduce the number of flights made (basically, literal overseas flights only, and probably even there we need to be looking into electrically powered ships). We should be using high speed trains (powered by electricity from non-fossil-fuel sources) wherever possible. These have some environmental cost, of course, but are the most sustainable means of long distance travel.
Yes, this means that some journeys will take noticeably longer, but, to protect our environment, that is a price that society needs to be willing to pay (I've always thought that the journey was almost as much fun as the destination, anyway!). Governments could help to 'sell' the idea by passing laws to increase minimum annual holiday entitlements by an additional two days, so that the sort of holiday trips that might take a few hours by air don't cost people additional holiday time (or it's extra free holiday, if you choose to holiday closer to home).
For business trips, while human nature probably needs some in-person meetings, it would be more environmentally-friendly for at least some of them to be done by videoconferencing (which we have all been doing for the past year, and the business world didn't end).
Yebbut....producing that amount of liquid hydrogen and oxygen takes lots of energy. Even if it's done with wind and solar power, those windmills needs lots of fibreglass and concrete, solar panels use highly pollutant generating materials production.
(Yeah, I know, amortisation of pollution if the windmills and solar panels last long enough, the point is few people actually look at the entire chain of events to produce "clean" fuel)
All well and good but this must be one of the most irresponsible use of resources there is.
These people already have massive carbon footprints and this is a willy-waving exercise in one-upmanship.
Sorry but I really don't see the value other than a handful of super-rich people continuing to emit more pollution and CO2 than entire countries.
My favorite billionaire (who baseless accuses people of child molesting, and crashes the market for short-term profit) is better than your favorite billionaire (who keeps people on virtual slavery working conditions, and fights unions like a 1800's industrial baron)
Human behavior is surely baffling, even from the normally-intelligent people who frequent these fora, taking side for one of these people that not only wouldn't give a flying fig for us, but would trample us for profit.
Celebrate them all - I just struggle to see what blue origin have been doing - they have been around two years longer than SpaceX and are yet to send anything to orbit.
It's not as if Mr Bezos is short of money to fund their development programme.
Virgin Galactic have always been about the tourism, and Virgin Orbital have put payloads into orbit (yes, different companies, VO spun out of VG), despite being two year younger than spaceX.
"Celebrate them all - I just struggle to see what blue origin have been doing - they have been around two years longer than SpaceX and are yet to send anything to orbit.""
The difference between BO and SpaceX seems to be methodology. BO are more NASA like in going slow, testing everything and making sure they are ready for a successful launch. Bare in mind they are scaling up New Shepherd to make the orbital launcher New Glenn. Although New Shepherd, in and of itself, seems to be a dead end, purely for sub-orbital tourism jaunts and science missions.
SpaceX have gone the alternative route of build it and see if it works. Fill it full of telemetry instruments and when (not if!) it fails, learn from what failed and build another one and do it fast on a production line. They appear, on the face of it and from current evidence, to be the most successful so far.
New Shepard burns hydrogen. No carbon footprint at all.
SpaceX's Starship is burning methane, specifically so they can manufacture it on-site from the atmosphere, using electricity from renewal sources. No carbon footprint at all.
Surprising though it may be, these guys have thought about this stuff.
I celebrate both, as well as spaceX.
But realistically claiming that BO don't dump carbon is ignoring that they are dumping water vapour high into the atmosphere, which is also a reasonably effective greenhouse gas...
And I am not aware that they are shouting about it being carbon neutral hydrogen
Bollocks. Total bollocks. Mass production if things invented by relatively poor people made them practical and affordable, very often based on old inventions. Printing. Sumeria and China
"The Asian priority of invention movable type is now firmly established, and that Chinese-Korean technique, or a report of it traveled westward is almost certain."
Gutenberg was not rich, comfortably well off probably describes his upbringing.
Similarly with the rest of your claims.
The New Scientist web site has a long video at https://www.newscientist.com/article/2284567-blue-origin-founder-jeff-bezos-has-ridden-his-own-rocket-to-space/
Jump to to about 1hr40m for the actual lift off, flight and landings (both booster and capsule landed ok).
Oh, and they are right, they do have really big windows.
A shame the price of a ticket is over £20million above my price range.
I see that tickets for Virgin Galactic cost a 'mere '$250,000' and that no lesser person than the Elon himself has put down a deposit:
I suppose I'd better start saving up my pennies.
One of my favourite movies. Still, and it keeps getting better because of all the "visions of the future" which went the other way: The Bell System, Picturephone, Howard Johnsons, and, of course, Pan-Am.
Sadly, there won't be a Pan-Am logo on the shuttle...they're a railroad now:
The name was also used by several defunct air carriers, none active at the moment...so maybe one of the billionaires could pick up the name and make 2001 come true?
If one reads "Into the Silent Sea" a book about the Mercury astronauts and much of it taken from their own recollections. Captain Funk and the other ladies were never employees of NASA. Nor did they undergo the "same tests" - they never had access to the NASA facilities, e.g. the capsules, the trainers, etc. They underwent many of the *medical* tests done by the company that was employed to do these tests on the astronauts. The ladies were lied to about their role by an individual at that company in a sufficient position such that the pattern of his lies outrageously misled them.
Captain Funk and her compatriots were caught up in the politics, bigotry and (at it's best) nascent attempts at emancipation of women of the time. Their latter careers are an exemplar for anyone: successful, modest, human.
To falsify history and rewrite it as their denial to space, back then, is to totally ignore and underestimate their subsequent successful careers. Let us remember them for the real reasons! Their success and not a piece of "woke" rewriting of history.
And, of course, sincere congratulations to Captain Funk on achieving a life-long dream of hers: to be an astronaut.
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The blatant arrogance of people like Jeff Bezos, will inevitably one day spark a revolution not seen before.
This is not acceptable that companies like Amazon are raking in billions while paying pittance to workers and are shying away from taxes.
Governments only solution to this is to tax workers even more, because what worker can do about that? If they start making companies paying their fair share, who is going to fund next holiday to our PM?
That's a bit playground level of argument. So if you don't like the government you have to leave the country?
If they didn't skim the value generated by the workers for themselves, Prime and other non-sense would still operate just fine, the different is that you wouldn't have clowns thrusting themselves into space to stroke their huge egos,
If Jeff Bezos had 10 million rather than 200 billion, the sky wouldn't fall.
> So if you don't like the government you have to leave the country?
In more extreme cases the answer to that is YES!! But in the case of Amazon there are plenty of alternatives without having to live the life of someone in the third world so I call hyperbole BS on this comment :-D
That's a bit playground level of argument. So if you don't like the government you have to leave the country?
Playground level? Wow, that’s seriously hypocritical. You come back with a Wetherspoons pub bore level straw man argument.
If you can’t see the difference in between choosing an alternative retailer and the upheaval of transplanting your life to another country then you’ve got no valid argument.
Riding this thing (or that other thing) to 100 km (or 90 km) for a few seconds doesn't make you an astronaut any more than riding in a light plane makes you a pilot. Beyond the height at which life support systems are required, the altitude itself is arbitrary if you're not going to orbit.
It must be a fantastically glorious life to be at the right place at the right time and be ruthless enough to stop at nothing to increase your loot at any cost and in any way.
You and I and his employees, even the government are paying for high flyers' lifestyle because they have that amazing touch of madness most of us are unable to even imagine, let alone accept doing it.
>>>It must be a fantastically glorious life to be at the right place at the right time and be ruthless enough to stop at nothing to increase your loot at any cost and in any way.<<<
I'd say that applies more to modern drug cartels than a few techies who beat the odds to get filthy rich.
I don't mean that the flights were unsuccessful.
"Once Bezos is in space we are going to have just 11 minutes to change the locks on the entire planet. It’s going to be tight; we can do it."
I noticed my front door lock still works, so apparently "we" were not able to change all the locks on the planet in 11 minutes. I do hope everyone who participated at least tried hard.
They’re a rich man’s toy, don’t get very far, are a danger to those around them and scare the horses. They should be banned entirely as they will never be useful. At minimum they should be made to have a man walking in front carrying a red flag to warn pedestrians.
Now, what about these ‘spacecraft’?
He calls himself "astronaut" apparently. But I think it's reasonable to say that you are only an astronaut (or a cosmonaut) if you were in space for at least as long as Gagarin managed. By which measure it seems Bezos fell short by at least 100 minutes.
Some have suggested that one complete orbit (which Gagarin did achieve) others have said that by modern standards only achieving a stable orbit should qualify you as an astronaut.
Either way what Bezos must surely notice is that hardly anybody cares for his antics. Indeed this particular stunt seems to have made him even less popular than he already was.
Reminds me of when Prince Charles inspected the Red Berets once.
The Prince is walking down the line, then comes to one chap who is a full head and shoulders BELOW the rest of the line...
Charles "I say! Aren't you a little short to be doing this game?"
Trooper (saluting) "Sir! I was six foot seven when I started this game, Sir!"
Colbert on Bezos: ‘Billionaires and their rockets end up looking just like each other’
“Now all day, the news networks covered this breathlessly,” he continued. “It was all billed like some sort of big, official, important thing. It’s not. It’s fun, I love space travel, good for them. But it’s not important
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