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Astronomy/Couple of questions



A long while back I asked you a few questions re NASA and Mars etc. You were incredibly pessimistic at the time, and, in light of Ron Paul's recent mention of space-travel,

probably quite correct. Do you have rather higher expectations re  space-travel by private companies such as this:-

Not sure if I asked you re this before, but what info do you have re actual, recent research on faster and/or cheaper  methods of space-travel? Thanks, Geoff.

Hi Geoff,
Hey, how about this news flash... Ron Paul didn't win the election for President of USA, and I seriously doubt if Socialist Hussein Obama even bothered to read Ron Paul's note about space. He could care less about space... all Chicago lawyers are interested in is political power, kickbacks, and under the table deals... certainly not outer space; it ain't on their agenda. The Chicago mobs now run our country. (Where's Al Capone and Jimmy Hoffa when you need them?)

Also, the second article you quote is from the United Kingdom.  What has England done in space?
In fact, what has ANY Eastern Hemisphere country done except start wars the past 90 years? (The one month Falkland islands conflict was an exception to that rule). Historically, add them up; WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, all the African tribal conflicts, Libya, the Serbia/Bosnia region, Israeli/Egypt, now Syria... and I can go on and on... all Eastern Hemisphere countries. (And then they call on the good ole U S of A to bail them out when they elect their tyrants!)
Have they been to the moon? And except for the Soviets, have they even orbited an astronaut in low Earth orbit?

I remember they were "selling tourist trips" to the moon back in the early 1970'a and even lunar land (real estate) for a price. It was all a spoof (or a scam?) for advertisement purposes.  This current offer is the same thing as no one is really serious about tourist trips in space. Perhaps those sub-orbital flights offered by American Rutan or that other guy... I forget his name, they are the only serious ones. So yes, I am rather pessimistic about the near-term future of space travel.  But on the bright side, long term (next million years) I am very optimistic because we are eventually forced to leave this planet, as the sun goes red giant in a few billion years, so we have no choice in the end.  And we've already started toward space with our 6 lunar landings, so in that respect, we're way ahead of the curve. Interstellar space flight isn't something you accomplish on a long weekend; it takes centuries to achieve.  And we've already started... so in that respect, I'm very optimistic about the human race.
Clear Skies,
Erie, PA USA  


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Tom Whiting


Astronomy has been my hobby/pasttime for over 50 years.  Currently own 3 telescopes, the largest of which is a 30 inch Newtonian truss Dob that is portable.I taught Astronomy/Meteorology at the University Level for 13 years before retiring in 1995. Being retired and home most of the time, I am able to answer all questions relatively quickly, unless it's a new moon weekend with good observing conditions.  No astrology questions please, or questions about alleged UFO picture identifications.


Experience: Astronomy has been my hobby and study for over 50 years. We currently now own a 30 inch portable telescope (Updated - Pennsylvania`s largest portable telescope). It can be seen on our website at: and also attend several regional starparties during the year, and have been on 5 total solar eclipse expeditions.

Organizations: President, Erie County Mobile Observers Group for over 15 years.

Publications: Wrote the "Over Erie Skies" newspaper article in our local newspaper for 11 years (1975-86).

Education: Masters Degree- Taught at the University level for 13 years. Retired 20 years -USAF Pilot - KC-135 with 180 combat missions;  Also Eagle Scout, Philmont staff 2 Yrs, Order of Arrow Lodge Chief, Ham Radio (inactive).

Awards: two discoveries: The mini-coathanger asterism in Ursa Minor (the little dipper) And the mini-ladle- another asterism in the bowl of Ursa Minor. Clients: Currently President of the ECMOG as mentioned above.

BS  Metallurgical Engineering Grove City College, PAMaster's Degree, Gannon University, Erie, PA Also retired USAF pilot, 20 years.

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