Tag Archive for spacecraft

Spaceship Earth

The Trump administration’s assault on the environment continues to go unabated. We’ve commented several times on the Republican’s War on Science, so much so that we’ve created a category for it. But Scott Pruitt continues to dismantle our environmental protections, all to benefit the greed of oil, gas, coal, lumber, mining and other companies which have bought the loyalty of Republican ‘lawmakers’. Why this past week, Pruitt’s EPA announced it wants to lower gas efficiency standards for automobiles not only because that extra care and concern about the environment is cutting into the corporate executives profit too much but also because President Obama put them into place. And they’re auctioning off federal land for oil and gas development. Our capitalistic overlords are using up resources, killing species and fouling our environment like we’ve got a Planet B ready to travel to when we’ve completely trashed our own precious Earth. But guess what…there is no planet B!

One of the 20th century’s greatest scientific minds, Stephen Hawking recently passed away. We here at the Bucket liked Hawking, but editor Dex Rexter, who used to be a huge supporter of human space colonization (with memberships in the Planetary Society and the L5 society), after years of research on the subject, profoundly disagrees with many scientists, including Hawking and Bill Nye, who are calling for immediate human colonization of Mars and outer space. Yes, it would be fun to play Star Trek or Star Wars and zip around the universe in a spaceship. But to seriously consider extended space travel or colonization, we have to develop artificial gravity spaceships first. The best way to do this is the way the space station in 2001: A Space Odyssey did it: using a rotating wheel. The astronauts would experience centripetal acceleration, which would mimic the gravitational force humans need for normal activity. But we’re not even close to developing anything of that sort, which would be a colossal endeavor financially, not to mention logistically. And let’s say we actually get humans to Mars. We would have to completely terraform the surface and atmosphere to make it inhabitable: another gargantuan undertaking.

Like Buckminster Fuller stated a half century ago, we need to look at the big picture and see the Earth as what is it: a spaceship with all living things on the planet as inhabitants of the spaceship. Instead of continuing to befoul and pollute our planet like there’s no tomorrow, it is paramount that every human on Earth, to take action and conserve our planet. It’s necessary for people in the industrial, capitalistic countries to start eschewing materialism and living more simply, like the people in lesser industrialized countries, if we are to save our planet…and ourselves.

The bottom line is this: We will never find a better spaceship than planet Earth. It has everything we need to survive and live happy, peaceful, wonderful lives. The best, most efficient solution is not to put humanity out into the hostile environs of space or a desolate planets like Mars, but for everyone to change our lifestyles and preserve the already spectacular life on our home planet: Earth.

Dear denizens of planet Earth: There is no Planet B. Let's start taking care of our own wonderful planet. The best spaceship possible is planet Earth.

Dear denizens of planet Earth: There is no Planet B. Let’s start taking care of our own spectacular planet.

Reality Check

NASA released a fantastic photo this past week depicting the Earth as a pale blue dot through the rings of Saturn. The photo was taken by the Cassini space probe that is in orbit studying the giant gas planet and it’s moons. This picture brings to mind other humbling NASA shots like the photos of the Earth and the moon together taken by numerous spacecraft(here, here and here) and the ‘family portrait’ of the Earth and the other planets in our solar system from Voyager as it left our solar system in 1990. Everything that we know and all the history of humanity and life as we know it has originated from that tiny grouping of pixels. Clone stamp it in Photoshop and suddenly, no Earth exists. However, the rest of the Universe keeps going even if we humans and our mythologies and religions disappear. Just think of how advanced our civilization would be if all children started learning about astronomy instead of religion in grade school.

The Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn sends a reality check to all religious people on the pale blue dot called Earth.