SpaceX has made orbit!

SpaceX has made history with the first privately developed liquid-fueled launch vehicle to achieve earth orbit! The Falcon 1 successfully reached orbit about half an hour past midnight (British Summer Time) tonight. This is a phenomenal achievement that bodes well for the future of the human race.

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Published in: on September 29, 2008 at 12:47 am  Comments (9)  

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  1. “bodes well for the future of the human race.”

    Why?

  2. Humanity is doomed if it loses the will or ability to exercise the single faculty that can ensure its survival. You must allow me some hyperbole – big shiny things whizzing about the heavens do tend to excite me – but I believe that SpaceX’s stunning achievement shows that the blood of those people that once traded, explored, conquered and colonised from Greenland to Constantinople is not yet spent.

  3. It bodes very well. Investigating the mysteries of the universe using rational enquiry, rather than through speculation and misinterpreting personal belief for objective truth, is the way forward.

    This is why space rockets are excellent indeed.

  4. While I personally don’t hold such developments to be too relevant, on a personal level at least, comes from the fact that our acre of space is relatively minuscule, and yet it will still take the work of thousands of years just to explore and better understand it. Being only the second or third generation to be doing such work, for us to put too much of our hope for the human race in space travel is not something that will help us. It may be exciting and, I think, a positive advance, but I don’t think there’s much point in putting too much of our own hope in it. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t explore space, of course.

    I personally accept now that despite the small ontological overlap there is a large, necessary distinction between the disciplines of religion and science. Religion is the place to explore spiritual rather than objective mysteries, and vice versa for science. With that understanding fully grasped I see no need for the two disciplines to be opposed to each other in the dualist, factional fashion endorsed by Dawkins et al., which also finds itself expressed in the ‘rather than’ argument above.

    That said, quite often even what is supposed to pass for ‘rational enquiry’ is bogged down with speculation, bias and the misinterpretation of personal or collective assumptions. This is a human trait regardless of the intentions behind them, and for this reason astrophysicists readily accept that there is a natural anthropocentric bias in their theories.

  5. Griff, can you give examples of how rational enquiry can be bogged down with speculation, bias etc..and how this is any different to how people interpret what they claim to be spiritual or religious experiences?

  6. Actually, to expand on my last post, I am trying to clarify how you perceive the difference between ‘spiritual’ and ‘objective’.

  7. …too much of our hope for the human race in space travel…

    Ultimately, I don’t think it is possible to put too much hope in space travel, since I think it will eventually determine our survival or extinction. However, I accept that it will be many generations from now (if we’re lucky) before our space-faring capabilities are so important.

    Nevertheless, even if it is not yet absolutely vital, it still has the potential to have a great influence on our own lives. It may be beneficial or detrimental in the short term – possibly depending on whether it is used for private commerce or state-funded warfare – but it is quite clearly going to have an immense effect over the next century. Anyone who doubts that should read a few history books: The Influence of Sea Power Upon History might be a good start.

    More importantly, the fact that we have only just begun to explore space is no reason not to support and admire our efforts so far. You might as well tell a caveman that there’s no point faffing around with all that flint nonsense because it will be centuries before we have televisions.

  8. i think even pretty esoteric and non-utilitarian pursuits such as, say, space exploration or poetry, will tend to affect other parts of society, because society is made up of lots of bits which affect each other, though some societies are more fragmented than others. i’m personally uninterested in space exploration, or technology really, but the spirit of the thing, the James T Kirk-ness of it, appeals to me. i think it’s a healthy sign, that people are willing to engage in Ulysses (Dante, or Tennyson’s) like adventuresness, just for the sake of it.

    But what i think you’re really saying here is that Jesus is God, am i right? Yes?

  9. Of course you’re right, Jonathan.


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