Time for a bit of talk about space...

Now I've been keeping up on this whole new space initiative, and I'll be the first here to say, I'm pretty damn excited. Just think of how the impact of employing workers towards the technology sector to design, people who used to work at GM fabricate, manufacture parts for, and build a new launch vehicle. Personally, I see it as a recovery point. Benefits from space would have a significant impact on how people do business as well. Ball bearings, perfectly round, would increase the efficiency and life of vehicles that use them.

Alternate fuel sources needed to power space craft through the solar system could have practical applications here as well. It would eliminate our need for oil almost entirely. I know about hybrids and hydrogen fuel cells but there are other sources of fuel beyond those that space exploration may yield in the future.

Looking at it from a fire protection and safety standpoint, I'd be the first to volunteer if they wanted people to test the effects of fire on cerian materials in space. Space stations, space vehicles, and moon and Mars habits need protection from fire, so designing new systems to meet those challenges would breathe a bit of life into floundering programs at UMD and other schools with danger written all over their program. Research in these ares would boom tremendously, benefiting every fire protection professional and possibly solving a few of our own problems here on Earth.

What do you think? Too optimistic? I didn't want to throw too much down in the way of assumptions, just what I had on my mind.

RJ