2015 Journey To Space is a RetroFuture

Retrofuturism shows the future produced in an earlier era. Futurism is anticipating what will come and retrofuturism is remembering an outdated expectation.

Journey to Space was made in 2015 and is looking at what Boeing and United Launch Alliance hoped would happen. They wanted decades to make and tens of billions to make space stations and launch systems that were the next version of the International Space Station and the Shuttle.

The total cost of the actual 30-year service life of the shuttle program through 2011, adjusted for inflation, was $196 billion. There were 133 successful launches and 2 failed missions.

The Space Station cost about $150 billion.

We are coming up on the 50th Anniversary of the first moon landing.

NASA has had a total of $1.3 trillion in inflation-adjusted funding. The military and spy agencies have had space funding of over $2 trillion in inflation-adjusted funding for a lot spy satellites.

The Journey into Space has a poster with a solar and nuclear propulsion vehicle. It might be a multi-megawatt Vasimr plasma rocket.

Everything shown as anticipated in Journey into Space is for extremely expensive systems that are in multi-decade timelines.

The documentary talks about missions to Mars in the 2030s.

All of the activity will be moved ahead to the 2020s. SpaceX will send unmanned missions to Mars by 2026 and will surpass all of NASA’s current orbital and moon mission plans.

The fully reusable Super Heavy Starship will enable larger missions earlier than anything shown in Journey into Space. NASA and ULA are still following the Journey into Space style visions. The new SpaceX future of Space will become obvious to everyone over the next two to four years.

38 thoughts on “2015 Journey To Space is a RetroFuture”

  1. Groups can have different average scores and it still have nothing to do with genetics. And that is what has happened. Lead exposure primarily but other toxins as well. Junk food during pregnancy. Not taking prenatal vitamins: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4380518/
    Living in old homes/apartments with lead…

    Nigerians are doing fantastic in the US, in the UK, everywhere they go. https://www.chron.com/news/article/Data-show-Nigerians-the-most-educated-in-the-U-S-1600808.php

    Nigerians eat lots of seafood, just like most of the East Asians.

  2. Seven servings of fruit a day during pregnancy = seven more IQ points. That is half a standard deviation right there. Just that, exceeds your 20% you left for environment. 3,500 infants in that study. https://www.thebump.com/news/fruit-during-pregnancy-raises-baby-iq

    More points from Choline: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180104124300.htm

    A few vitamins during pregnancy gives 9 IQ points. 11 year olds performing at 12 year old level: https://www.justvitamins.co.uk/blog/pregnant-women-who-take-pregnancy-vitamins-can-boost-their-childs-iq/
    mental age/chronological age x 100 = IQ

    And common exposure to heavy metals can drop IQ just as far.

    Get the flu while pregnant? 3-7 points lost. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/swine-flu/5909239/Flu-in-pregnancy-could-lower-childs-IQ.html

    Sorry IQ can’t be 80% genetic if common environmental things move IQ dramatically.

  3. No the Flynn effect was mostly the result of iodized salt. And a bit from availability and affordability of fresh fruit and vegetables year round.

    Look up “hybrid vigor”. Mixing is healthier. The opposite of inbreeding.

  4. Lead exposure was much worse for Blacks. And since we banned lead fuel additives they have rebounded at a higher rate as one would expect. “In addition, in the early NHANES data from the 1970s and 1980s, 12% of black children had BLLs ≥30 µg/dL, compared with 2% of their counterparts who were white.” https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/su6104a1.htm

  5. And beyond nutrition most people are damaged in some way maybe many ways. Flu early? 3-7 points down the toilet: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/swine-flu/5909239/Flu-in-pregnancy-could-lower-childs-IQ.html
    Common cold maybe 1-2 points. Then there are the heavyweights: Toxoplasmosis, Human Cytomegalovirus, probably anything in the herpes family, Rubella, Zica and more.
    Lead! People born in the US in the late 1960’s to mid 1970’s probably lost 8 IQ points on average just from lead in the air. Flaking paint from old houses, firearms, solder, plumbing, people cleaning battery terminals, or encrusted spark plugs. My dad would use an electric wire brush to clean the crud on spark plugs. And I was there watching him when I was a kid (no TV). Then there is lead bullets and shot, hunters and gun nuts use, and lead sinkers used in fishing.
    Arsenic, Cadmium, and Mercury can do a lot of damage as well. Well water can have levels capable of doing a lot of damage. Arsenic ≥ 5 μg/L and IQ drops 5 or 6 points: https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1476-069X-13-23
    Mercury: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/study-iq-loss-from-mercury-costly/
    Lack of oxygen
    Head bumps
    Head shaking
    Inadequate/interrupted sleep (fights, dogs, car alarms, TV on, fans)
    Fire Retardants: https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/flame-retardant-exposure-found-lower-iq-children
    Fumes from cleaners, adhesives, insecticides.
    Food additives?
    Average American probably lost 15+ IQ

  6. I used to be a big believer in genetics and IQ. Even up to 10 years ago. Things just don’t add up though. First, there is low human variation. Then there are not really that many genes and many are influencing likes/dislikes, humor, some mannerisms and other personality stuff. Just where are all these IQ genes supposed to be? Most brain specific genes…everyone has…except 1 on 10,000 oops mutations. Humans have 53 protocadherin genes that directly affect the brain. Of those, probably only a few, very person to person. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protocadherin
    I just can’t see how that permits a great deal IQ differences.

    I think a lot of this is driven by mythology. Our families often say some relative did this thing or another and magnify it. Then kids try to do these things from a young age with their parent’s encouragement. But I think that is the trick…starting out young with belief and high expectations…nothing to do with great grandpa or whoever. My Mom’s side had a name that is musically famous. They assumed they were related because there were not that many people with that name and great grandfather was sure we must be related. So one became a violinist and played in the symphony. My mom sang in San Diego Symphony stuff…
    But then I do the genealogy and no, not related. If, by chance that last name was different what are the chances this family would have gone big guns into music?

    Probably 2 standard deviations in early nutrition…not much room left.

  7. In twin studies, people generally forget that the environment is often very similar as well, even if separated at birth.

    And even if you gave one twin to a hunter gatherer culture in Africa and the other to a pair of Swiss physicists, they shared the most important 9 months of their lives along with the genetics…not just the genetics.

    Also the East Asians we get in the US from abroad eat seaweed and lots of fish which makes a big difference during pregnancy and early years.

    And I think there is a lot more we can get from better nutrition. We don’t really even know what optimal is. We know that double the recommended choline is better, but how much is optimal…it could be 10x for all we know. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180104124300.htm
    Iodine they have probably figured out. 250-290 µg per day is probably optimal. But they put 150 in the supplements and expect the mother’s to get the rest in their diet. But most of these women don’t. “…only 56 percent of American consumers eat seafood twice a month–and that included canned and pouched products. And just one in five adults can be classified as a frequent seafood eater, meaning they eat seafood two times a week or more.” https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/foodservice-retail/survey-on-us-seafood-consumption-contains-surprises
    There is not a whole lot of iodine in other foods.
    Fruit makes a huge difference too: https://www.thebump.com/news/fruit-during-pregnancy-raises-baby-iq
    Optimal #? Who knows?

  8. Lots of “White” people in Russia, The Ukraine, and some other Eastern European utopias where they still have animal carts, work long laborious hours and hope to occasionally get a bit of meat.
    And the Japanese, and South Koreans have lives of high quality.

    I think life expectancy tells you a lot about quality of life. If you are not enjoying life, you probably will find ways to shorten it. Drowning your sorrows in a bottle, or wallowing in some other deleterious escape.

    Where is the US? 31st. And there are several non-“White” countries above us. The people of Japan, Singapore, Israel, South Korea, Cyprus, Chile, and Costa Rica, outlive us.

    And your apparent definition of “White” has no bases in genetics at all. The people of India and the Mideast are the same group as Europeans.

    Really, we are all the same group. Variation within the human genome is very small. Any troupe of chimps will have more variation within than humans from across the world.

    Nutrition, toxins, disease, natural resources, climate, neighboring countries/geography, mythology regarding national identity and history, education system, infrastructure and form of government are the major factors.

    If they have a lot of imigrants then these above factors in their original home has some influence too. But after a generation or two, that is gone mostly. Unless there is oppression and an unwelcoming atmosphere of these immigrants.

  9. Sure – but that other country couldn’t compete for government contracts – and in fact competition from another nation is likely to drive the US govt to pay for more missions.

  10. Might be a bad move; fail, and you could drive Musk/SpaceX into God-knows-which-country’s hands.

  11. We’re going to have to shove the anti-nuclear (i.e., environmental) wackos back into the closet for that.

    Or get into space first, then do the R&D for next-gen nuclear power there.

  12. Need a cite on 3. Smart kids read, sure. Which way does the arrow of causation point?

    As for 1, yes, but not as strongly as heredity.

  13. Google race and IQ. Yes, Flynn effect, but group means are real, too. Improve an group mean of 80 by 5 and you have a lower group mean than if you improved a group mean of 100 by 5.

    This is like 2nd grade math.

    Regression toward the mean is real, too, btw.

  14. Lol. The evidence is mountain-sized. There’s no point to trying to force idiots to look at that giant, heretical mountain though.

    Look up group means, then do the diversity math.

    No one can make a horse drink. We all have much better things to do with our time.

  15. Your looking at it the wrong way,

    If they launch they can fail which can kill the project. So better to just get payed for R&D until someone finally cancels it like they always do and go onto the next ” big ” thing.

  16. Rather old fashioned of you there. All the modern paranoids know that the current conspiracy theory is that a random, unprovable, vague accusation of sexual harassment will appear. The woman in question has no evidence that she ever met the guy, or she was seen happily dating him in the weeks after the alleged incident, but this won’t count as evidence in his favour.

  17. A couple of other confounding factors:

    • While schooling may not increase IQ, doing IQ tests does. This is just obvious if you think about it. IQ tests are a bit weird, the experience can put people off the first couple of times. And IQ questions are unlike the sort of question that normal people encounter usually. Having to parse this unusual question, work out what it means, develop the approach… that all takes time. Time that you could use for answering other questions. After doing this a few times you are just going to be better at it. And how often did people do IQ tests in 1900? Hardly ever outside of rare research groups. How often in 1950? Maybe once or twice in their lives. How often in 2019? I’ll guess that half of the people on this website have seen some sort of IQ test style question lurking in an internet banner ad sometime today.
    • I did see one claim that IQs were decreasing, but it turned out they compared IQ tests from university students in the 1890s (top 5% of the population) to average IQ results from today (100%, with extra care and attention to make sure that nobody was excluded, even the poor, criminal, disabled… arguably biased towards the LOWER IQ parts of society.)
  18. Google “IQ trend over time”

    result: IQ increase from decade to decade.

    In a comprehensive study of the Flynn effect, Jakob Pietschnig and Martin Voracek looked at 271 independent samples comprising 3,987,892 participants covering a time span of 105 years (1909–2013).


  19. The general trend has been up. There are always people saying it is going down. Google Flynn effect. The only study saying it is going down is a Norwegen one with dubious methodology and applicability.

  20. “Intuitive” meaning you have no evidence at all. The US has problems…the lack of White people is not among them.
    And those born post lead IQ apocalypse, I am very optimistic about. Though I am concerned about low iodine levels.

  21. Once SpaceX starts getting real income from Starlink, their launch and internet ‘competitors’ will get government to go after them with an anti-trust lawsuit.

  22. Dunno… Like DoctorPat sez, need some real citations for that claim.  

    Three things I have learned about IQ and our American population. Essentially IQ is something measured and really not very substantially influenced by schooling. The overall conclusion. 

    First tho’, while little bouncing babies fresh from the womb have fairly similar mental potential, the combination of social, socio-economic, nutritional and experiential completeness figures rather STRONGLY in individual IQ at age 16 or so.  

    This correlates to why so many Asian kids do well in IQ testing, given the number of unrelenting “tiger moms” acculturating their kith. It also correlates to why so many Americans of largely African ascent are decidedly “left behind” in their measured IQ results. There are BIG gaps ‘norms and expectations’ differing cultures place on their kids. 

    Second, from split-twins studies shows that there might only be 15 IQ points different between the “best outcome” and “worst outcome” upbringing environments. There is an additional difference tho’ when the culture-of-the-schools is also included. This compounds the lag. 

    Third, I have found that READING is one of the highest-correlations-to-heightened IQ and mentation. Sitting on a bed OVER a pile of books doesn’t work. Actually reading even a small number of them does.  

    This is what we’ve learned in the branch of psychology tracking intelligence development and acculturation. 

    Just saying,
    GoatGuy ✓

  23. If only NASA would focus on the space-based nuclear tech. Nobody else is going to rival them, it’s advanced and cutting edge, and it’s very much in need. RTGs are inefficient, lets see 100kw nuclear reactor driving an electric propulsion system out past Neptune, and then on to the nuclear-thermal designs.

  24. Its very intuitive :

    Perhaps, the real problem is too many low information decision makers utilizing system 1 reasoning, spending way too much time looking to blame others for the poor outcomes of their own poor life decisions.

  25. Just look at the types of things said by most so-called “business
    leaders” these days: they talk about inclusivity and feelings. These are

    the kinds of concerns that low-IQ gossip mongers have.

    Not everyone can be an extremely stable genius, like the good ole days.

  26. Congress just wanted NASA to return to launching US crews into space again as soon as possible. Niceties like lower launch cost could come later. Not that it did them much good – 16 years from the last Shuttle and MAYBE getting close to launching crew.

    NASA somehow got Ares I and V exactly backwards: they should have built a conventional liquid fueled vehicle for launching a modest crew capsule using everything they’d learned about doing that safely, and experimented with using SRBs to launch cargo cheaper. With the ISS routinely and safely crewed and supplied, they could have started working on a heavy lift cargo vehicle and advanced in-space systems to launch on it.

    But then, if they’d done things right, we likely would not have the commercial space program.

  27. the average IQ in the West has dropped quite a bit over the past few decades

    Going to need a citation on that one I’m afraid.

  28. Surely a working space launch that provides tens of thousands of jobs would be even better than a non-working space launch that provides tens of thousands of jobs?

    More likely to keep going. More likely to scale up. More likely to get good publicity .

  29. Let’s remember this was before IAC’16, before ITS, quite before IAC’17’s BFR and now Superheavy Starship and Falcon Heavy. Well, probably before they successfully recovered a Falcon 9 first stage on December 22th 2015. In terms of space events, it’s like prehistory. Yeah, only 4 years ago.

    Nevertheless I agree the usual space players still are in deep denial. Pretending that if they ignore Superheavy/Starship, things will be business as usual in the coming decades.

    Not so. When SH/SS becomes a tested vehicle including orbital refueling and SpaceX gets a reliable source of income from Starlink, all bests are off about what they will do.

    I even see them sending rockets to orbit and land in faraway places beyond Mars, just to aggravate old space players and entice labs and companies to follow their lead.

    The signs are there. They are getting ready to produce a lot of Raptor engines, for cranking out many reusable Starships and a few meant for expendable mode.

  30. When I think retrofuturism, I usually think flashgordon or the flying cars or jetpack visions of today. That was all too real and just sad.

  31. So is it all because nobody wanted to bother with the most obvious, re usability and fueling in space and just do more of the same old although it was written on the wall? Shows you how dumb are the people who lead us are. If there is a reason we are not going to stay a super power, this is it.

  32. It was never meant to get to mars it was meant to supply tens of thousands of jobs to key states for a long time.

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