Quote:Quote:I watched the Top Gear team's fantastic failure of trying to put a reliant robin into space. I knew that was rather far fetched, but had the release mechanisms worked it might have actually made it. That has got to be the most ridiculous statement I've read all week. What, exactly, is ridiculous about it? Sending a car into space? I agree. That it might actually have worked? Whyever not? Given the right amount of the right kind of fuel set up in the right way there's no reason why it couldn't work.
impossible on BBC budgets
yet I also know that standard electronics HAVE been used in spacecraft. At the beginning of the space race ICs were just being invented (and, in fact, for a while they were used solely in military projects), they weren't space hardened then.
I've heard estimates that if the funding was provided we could build, and launch, manned interstellar craft within 50 years. We went to the moon at great expense over 40 years ago, much has improved, technologically, since then.
You're never getting a lander on the moon. Never. Even winning the lottery won't help. Tens of millions would barely get you off the ground with a project like a lunar lander. The technology won't improve in the way you think it might, not in 10 years or in 50. Space will always be very expensive, simply from a joules per pound/dollar perspective