how advanced are we really?

so, the space shuttle went into orbit again this week, and once again, NASA is concerned that the underside of the shuttle was damaged by either a piece of ice or foam that came loose during launch and gouged a 3-inch-square hole into the spacecraft’s protective belly.

it seems as though every time we launch a shuttle now, it sustains some sort of damage, which makes you start wondering…was this happening EVERY time the shuttle went up in the past but nobody was paying close enough attention to notice?  or maybe they did notice, but just never thought anything would happen?

i’m all for space travel and exploring the unknown.  i think the little Mars rover project has been fantastic, and we need more missions like it.  however, doesn’t it seem like we should have been a little farther along with our technology right now, in regards to our space travel?

i mean…is strapping what amounts to a big jet plane to an even BIGGER cannister of fuel and then lighting it on fire all we’ve got?  as i heard someone on the radio say a few days ago, it is basically a bottle rocket.  technology, in some areas, has progressed amazingly fast since i was born in 1971, but in other areas, i think we’re lagging way behind where i thought we’d be by now.

is it a funding issue, or have we sort of reached the peak of what we can do with the level of knowledge we have right now?  are we just waiting on another big breakthrough that will propel us into the next age of space travel?  ion engines?  warp drives?

i guess i’ll just have to be patient and hope that i’ll get to see some of these things in my lifetime, but i guess i shouldn’t hold my breath, when we can’t even get the major automobile manufacturers to give us a lineup of TRULY fuel efficient cars to select from. 🙁

  • Mthope

    I hyerd one time a thot in my head that is about 4thgrade math
    A 80THOUSAND pound semi can get what 7.2 or more mpg
    a 8oolb street bike of say average 650cc size gets over average pver 50mpg with all the epa egr and lean mixture gunk on it;
    you can ride your 50mpg cycle say to winchester and it burns
    a gallon of fuel, put 50of them in the back of a semi or
    flatbed and you will not burn 50gallons of fuel but maybe 10 to get there;
    Why dont the little two wheeler get at least 10times the mileage
    of something that weighs in 100times more?

    As someone in the refinery business would you rather sell 50gallons of fuel or 30? No duh 50 riek?

    The debunkers are ready to pounce on anything that claims even a modest 10% milage increase, why iz dat?

    I have see some things work a little like 3-5% for
    platinum plugs (last set you will buy as I used one set 200,000 miles before a teenager blew out the engine)
    Prestone boost injector cleaner octane boost, good for a mile per
    gallon from 18-19mpg in my 2.9v6 on a controlled test.

    Enviromax fuel additive(a surface tension breaker and catalyst)
    this increased my milage from 15-17 up to about 23-24mpg
    in 2 different rides a 2.9 ford and a 2.5 jeep, both older and
    likely carboned up a bit, this also reduces carbon buildup and
    restores the proper compression ratio for the original engine displacement and cleans the valve stems et cetera

    It is about $17 a bottle but at 1oz per 5-10gallons
    $3-5 per tankfull to go from say 225per tank to 300+ per
    tank is worth it, it seemed to improve passing and
    hill climbing.

    I don’t have a webpage but it was originally a multilevel
    marketing thang endorced by Jonny Rutherford the Indy champ
    and I called the 800number on the bottle, you can still get
    it, my old friend that gave me my first couple of bottles died and so I don’t know where he got it but any forem I have seen
    on the net totally trashes it, even as I kept mileage logs
    to show it improved my mpg.

    The other things I have heard and wanted to try were
    ultrasonic transducers to vaporise the gas as it is sucked into
    the cylinders/sprayed out the injectors, as the droplets have
    a resonant frequency for the surface tension to be shattered
    by certain ultrasound tones like Ella on the Memorex tape commercials shatters the wine glass.

    Those little fork lifts that run on LP/propane have evaporators to de liquify the fuel and they supposedly run dang long on those little kegs of fuel or so a mechanic told me once.