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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw an ad last night for a new mini-series on the Discovery HD channel called When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions. It premiers this Sunday, June 8th.
Space Exploration Seen as Never Before.
An HD Exclusive

When We Left Earth is the story of mankind’s greatest adventure, leaving the earth and living in space. For the first time this series has digitally re-mastered the original film and audio recordings from NASA’s vault, including and all the key on-board footage filmed by the astronauts themselves. From John Glenn's Mercury mission to orbit the earth, to Neil Armstrong’s first historic steps on the moon, to the unprecedented spacewalks required to repair the Hubble telescope, these epic stories are shown in stunning clarity and told by the astronauts and engineers who were there.
The preview looked good, and Discovery usually does a nice job on these sort of programs. More details can be found here.

eric
 

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when mankind stops dreaming about moving to the stars it might start to think about how it can stick around here a bit longer. if mankind keeps felling rainforest at the current rate i doubt it will last much longer. never mind gobal warming. no trees means no oxygen. and when the trees are gone, soil erosion means they cannot be put back again.

as an aside, there used to be a unique type of tree on easter island but one day someone cut the last one down, probably for fire wood. well before that the society there had completely disintegrated.

easter island on a global scale is what awaits our world if we keep exploiting the only planet currently suitable for human life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
when mankind stops dreaming about moving to the stars it might start to think about how it can stick around here a bit longer. if mankind keeps felling rainforest at the current rate i doubt it will last much longer. never mind gobal warming. no trees means no oxygen. and when the trees are gone, soil erosion means they cannot be put back again.

as an aside, there used to be a unique type of tree on easter island but one day someone cut the last one down, probably for fire wood. well before that the society there had completely disintegrated.

easter island on a global scale is what awaits our world if we keep exploiting the only planet currently suitable for human life.
It's an astronaut show!

eric
 

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Or, to approach it another way, imagine if Shoemaker Levi had been a little to the left.

I'd really really like us to have the technology to see and subsequently deflect something capable of adding another K/T boundary to our geology. Frankly, even if it were unavoidable I'd like us to have small but viable colonies elsewhere so the end of life on Earth was not the end of the human race - however we managed to bugger things up.

Space show for me please!
 

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Or, to approach it another way, imagine if Shoemaker Levi had been a little to the left.

I'd really really like us to have the technology to see and subsequently deflect something capable of adding another K/T boundary to our geology. Frankly, even if it were unavoidable I'd like us to have small but viable colonies elsewhere so the end of life on Earth was not the end of the human race - however we managed to bugger things up.

Space show for me please!
Or imagine if Willie Shumacher had been little. Oh wait, he was. So back to Astronauts, eh? :)
 

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It's an astronaut show!

eric
maybe they could have thought of a better title.

for what it's worth, a few years ago i went to listen to some russian cosmonauts give a talk. one of them said it was possible to see high energy particle go through his eyeballs as they left a trail, like in a cloud chamber. this was on the russian space station. space is not a nice place to be for plenty of other reasons. but this has to pretty high up on the reasons not to want to live there.
 

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when mankind stops dreaming about moving to the stars it might start to think about how it can stick around here a bit longer. if mankind keeps felling rainforest at the current rate i doubt it will last much longer. never mind gobal warming. no trees means no oxygen. and when the trees are gone, soil erosion means they cannot be put back again.
Ummm, last I checked about 70% of the global supply of oxygen comes from marine phytoplankton. Trees, grasses make up the rest, from the whole planet, not just the rainforests. Oh and, what happens if the earth is rendered uninhabitable by a passing asteroid or something, should we just say, oh well, we are all screwed? We look to the stars for more than just dreams. We look for more life and more possibilities, and which watch will be worn to Mars. This is after all a watch forum.
 

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...if mankind keeps felling rainforest at the current rate i doubt it will last much longer. never mind gobal warming. no trees means no oxygen. and when the trees are gone, soil erosion means they cannot be put back again.....
I live in Canada. We have trees. Lots of them. I have travelled a lot on this earth and I can tell you that there is no possible way that mankind could cut down enough trees to negatively effect our oxygen supply.

There's a lot of trees out there!
- Jake
 

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Oh and, what happens if the earth is rendered uninhabitable by a passing asteroid or something, should we just say, oh well, we are all screwed? We look to the stars for more than just dreams. We look for more life and more possibilities, and which watch will be worn to Mars. This is after all a watch forum.
the possibility of a severe collision is extremely small and if it did happen then the effects whould be out of our control. however, we can stop cutting down rainforrest and we can stop polluting the environment. it's up to us if we want a decent quality of life for future generations.

last i heard about a manned mission to mars was that it was generally accepted as 1) uneconomical and 2) unsurviveable. i don't think mars is going to see anyone wearing a watch there in my lifetime.
 

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did you know that in the past the atmosphere was 40% oxygen?
That's nice, but more is not always better. Prolonged exposure to high levels of oxygen at normal pressure causes serious health issues.

-Fluid accumulation in the lungs.
-Gas flow across the alveoli slows down, meaning that the person has to breathe more to absorb the same oxygen.
-Chest pains occur during deep breathing.
-The total volume of exchangeable air in the lung decreases by 17 percent.
-Mucus plugs local areas of collapsed alveoli -- a condition called atelectasis.

* Bonus question:
The Apollo astronauts survived on 100% oxygen for up to two weeks with little side effect. Why?

- Jake
 

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* Bonus question:
The Apollo astronauts survived on 100% oxygen for up to two weeks with little side effect. Why?

- Jake[/quote]


Due to the Zero Gravity environment? :think:
 

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Set up the DVR for this series.

:-!
 

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* Bonus question:
The Apollo astronauts survived on 100% oxygen for up to two weeks with little side effect. Why?

- Jake


Due to the Zero Gravity environment? :think:
Close. It was due to the lower environmental pressure in the spacecraft.

- Jake
 

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I have to admit that one of my favourite little sayings is that you don't need a good argument against if you are up against a bad argument for.

Personally I am fairly convinced of the existence of global warming and see the importance of everyone, and every business, starting to move to a slightly different model that reduces our dependence on a resource that is on the verge of becoming quite expensively scarce and is clearly damaging at both a local and global level.

However, I think that the science behind global warming is complex and the indicators, solutions and problems are likely to be counter-intuitive. To reduce the issue to soundbites and flag waving is simply going to divide and annoy. To hit someone over the head with a dubious statistic like '40% oxygen' is at best hopelessly misleading and at worst polarising an important debate.

Oh, and according to Nature, it's also false!

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v451/n7176/full/nature06587.html

That's peer reviewed science; the only sort of science worth reading!

Personally I reckon that we are in a position that, given a bit of a run up, our scientific community are more than equal to solving the problems they may have caused. Until then we should all do our bit.

That's right - now you must all buy Citizen eco drives!
 

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"Two facts are known with certainty: Earth's earliest atmosphere was essentially devoid of oxygen; and today's atmosphere is composed of 21% oxygen. Most of the events that took place between these two time points are HIGHLY UNCERTAIN."

we know that the earth had a much higher level of oxygen in the past because without it the large insects that used to exist in prehistory could simply not have been possible. insects do not have a circulatory system to supply oxygen to their muscles, they rely on piping the oxygen to them. this only supports a limited size of insect. the higher the oxygen level the larger the insect.
 

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"Two facts are known with certainty: Earth's earliest atmosphere was essentially devoid of oxygen; and today's atmosphere is composed of 21% oxygen. Most of the events that took place between these two time points are HIGHLY UNCERTAIN."

we know that the earth had a much higher level of oxygen in the past because without it the large insects that used to exist in prehistory could simply not have been possible. insects do not have a circulatory system to supply oxygen to their muscles, they rely on piping the oxygen to them. this only supports a limited size of insect. the higher the oxygen level the larger the insect.
Fascinating, I would be interested to see the supporting evidence for the claim. My experience is that evolution (or God) is remarkably good at finding clever solutions to problems. I suspect that long extinct giant insects probably had interesting solutions to getting enough oxygen

Physics however, is a little more exceptionless. In a 40% oxygen atmosphere you would be amazed what burns. Giant insects, forests some rocks, the list is fairly long.

However, as always, exceptional claims require exceptional proof. I'm afraid that I would rather see evidence than a rather weak inferential chain from putative giant bugs to a hard percentage.

Oh, and if you read the whole paper you will see that the window of uncertainty closes at just below current atmospheric levels of oxygen and 160% of the current level or above is impossible. Forty percent (around 200% of current) simply doesn't figure.

More importantly do you not see that taking such a stand in such a way undermines the case for ecological responsibility?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I realize this thread is marked "Off Topic," but it was kind of a particular topic: a heads-up on a series about the NASA missions. I have no idea how it so quickly turned to environmental issues.

eric
 

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I have no idea how it so quickly turned to environmental issues.

eric
Same thing happens whenever my brother comes over for dinner. Doesn't matter where the conversation starts; we always end up on bowel movements.
 
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