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UK Reconsiders 1986 Decision To Ban Astronauts

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the brits-iiiinnnn-spaaaaccceee dept.

Space 279

An anonymous reader writes "The British space agency, BNSC, is reconsidering its 1986 decision to reject all human space missions. The decision has dominated British space policy ever since, leaving Britain out of many American and European space projects. The UK is the only nation in the G8 group of leading economies that does not have a human space flight program. But space enthusiast groups like the British Interplanetary Society are trying to persuade the British government to participate in both manned and unmanned space activities."

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Slashdot Users (0, Offtopic)

das_schmitt (936797) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779328)

I would never socialize with a Slashdot user. Never, ever, ever. Sorry guys :/

You only have yourselves to blame.

Band Astronauts? (5, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779804)

Why not? They banded my little tabby here - and I got 'er back after she run off once, when the man who pours linseed oil into the duck's carcasses forgot to slam the lid shut on th eold coal-chute. That's another story there, that is. But it worked for my tabby, and I hear there gonna' band schoolchildren, too. That'll show 'em. Something to find the criminals in jeans, they're saying on Sky. An Astronaut ought to be easier to band than a tabby. And I bet they don't sit under the couch, trying to rub the thing off over their ears all night long, either!

What? You said "ban"? What's that, then? Well, If they're Astronauts or not, I don't think we should let foreigners in, if they can't respect our ways, now. They're no better than the rest of us and that's the truth.

Re:Band Astronauts? (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779860)

Get off vent, or I'll have you bent.

They already have a human in space (4, Funny)

sisko (114628) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779330)

David Lister.

Re:They already have a human in space (1)

The Dobber (576407) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779548)

According to the Hudzen-10, that was debatable

The true reason for this... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779336)

Too many viewings of Doctor Who.

Re:The true reason for this... (4, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779430)

Ban or no ban, they ain't drinkin' in this pub!

All that bragging and dragging their heavy kit about. Not to mention the naf hissing sound from the pressure suits - and the smell. Did you ever?

I think that the ban is good for Britain. Next, I think it's time to exclude those blokes who Google the answers to the pub quiz on their mobiles, under the tables.

Re:The true reason for this... (5, Funny)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779476)

aggressive wikipeida vandalism is the only way to beat them. "what do you mean Tutankhamen wasn't the star striker when we won the world cup?!"

The problem is another entirely. (0, Troll)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779632)

In typical British fashion, or Euro-collectivist fashion, they're showing their colors by trying to persuade the government to go into space, rather than putting their "society" into action and getting a man up there WITHOUT the permission of some worthless bureaucratic tax feeders.

But hey, the Brits are part of that mythical "free western societies" in which they need the GOVERNMENT to do stuff, instead of themselves. Pitiful, pathetic, and totally predictable.

Hey, give it another century, maybe they'll figure out that the reason we're not all having summer homes on Venus is because certain bureaucrats are the ones calling the shots, and people are depending on them to provide results, when the ONLY way they get more funding is if the bureaucrats DON'T deliver results. Results means that the perceived need for bureaucrats is no longer there, which means bureaucrats go unemployed, thus bureaucrats can NEVER solve the problem they were employed to solve, or they go without a job.

Surprise surprise.

Re:The problem is another entirely. (2, Insightful)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779722)

Yes of course it's all so simple now. We'll just create an organization and get trillions of dollars with no chance of return for a VERY long time to send someone into space. Why the fuck hadn't we thought of this before, god bless you and your genius insight we are but little lost sheep without you to guide our way into space.

Now shut the fuck up, stick a damn firecracker up your ass and blast your goddamn way to the moon. If you want I can form a society to do it if you like, we may even get a few dollars from people to do it.

Re:The problem is another entirely. (2, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779808)

The reason bureaucrats hate space programs is because it's the one guaranteed area where you can dump as many billions as you want and you will get no measurable progress. All this probery doesn't count- yes it's scientifically invaluable, but it's just enough to keep American voters happy that their tax money is hiring very smart people to make progress in space. No matter how many soil samples we take, launching probes will never get us to Mars, or back to the moon.. and that's just the way it's going to stay because an elected official would have to bring an economy to its knees to do it, and they're not going to stay elected for long.

Re:The problem is another entirely. (3, Interesting)

unbug (1188963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779878)

The reason bureaucrats hate space programs is because it's the one guaranteed area where you can dump as many billions as you want and you will get no measurable progress.
Hmm, you'd think true bureaucrats would love something like that. Firstly, nobody is accountable if there really is no progress. Secondly, they can pocket some of it without anyone actually noticing.

Re:The true reason for this... (1)

Esperi (782483) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779584)

..its the terribly tepid tea they serve at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

Not like they've had much success w/droids... (1)

f0dder (570496) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779344)

maybe they should work on those first.

Coming soon on MST3K... (0, Troll)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779346)

"Bad teeth in outer space".

Re:Coming soon on MST3K... (1)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779418)

"Gun-toting lard arses in Outer Space"

Stereotypes?.

Re:Coming soon on MST3K... (1, Funny)

andphi (899406) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779566)

We've had those for a long time. We call ourselves Americans - though the ones we send up are usually in peak physical condition and might not care much about guns - and we're very proud of our astronauts.

So, who's going to make the crack about missing their vodka and finding orbit warmer than winters back home?

Have we shot any cheese-eating bistro crawlers into space yet?

Re:Coming soon on MST3K... (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779574)

Mod parent up - seriously, as a brit, it's NOT a troll. It's actually funny, insightful and factually accurate. UK National Health Service dentistry is a bad as it gets.

Tea (4, Funny)

kernowyon (1257174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779350)

The real reason we Brits don't send people into space is because you simply cannot get a decent cup of tea there! Manufacturing Bowler Hats to fit over those helmets has proved rather tricky too.

Re:Tea (3, Funny)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779370)

I guess the British will be the first to invent grav plating so they can have their daily cup of tea. Necessity breeds innovation.

Re:Tea (2, Interesting)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779440)

What explains the Indian Astronauts? Many cannot do without a cuppa.

Re:Tea (4, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779470)

What explains the Indian Astronauts?

Cowboys?

Re:Tea (1)

siriuskase (679431) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779908)

no CBNeal jokes, please. This isn't a poll.

Re:Tea (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779448)

Daily? *spits tea in shock*, youve clearly never been here *sips*, we start the day with tea, *sips* we end the day with tea, *sips* if we're tierd we have tea, *sips* if visits we have tea & if somebody proposes going into space we get the scones out.

I think we used to take tea breaks during battles too! Wonder how that would go down in iraq?

Re:Tea (4, Funny)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779694)

I think we used to take tea breaks during battles too! Wonder how that would go down in iraq?

You may have heard about the recent recipient of the Military Cross, Fusilier Damien Hields [timesonline.co.uk] . He fought off 150 Taliban fighters with a grenade machinegun. Unsurprisingly, his vehicle got a bit shot up in the process.

Now, I'm not saying that tea is ingrained into the British psyche so to speak, but when struggling for a way to describe just how wrecked the vehicle was, his commanding officer had this to say:

I was astonished at the state of his vehicle. There were so many holes in it, it was like a teabag.

So yes, they might be in the thick of battle, but tea is never far from the mind.

Re:Tea (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779882)

Little known fact: the Irish drink the most tea per capita [yahoo.com] in the world, a full 20% more per capita than the British.

Re:Tea (1)

adona1 (1078711) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779742)

I think we used to take tea breaks during battles too!


True, that's how Julius Caesar [wikipedia.org] first beat the Britons ;)

Yeah, but the good news is (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779648)

that there will be no scurvy.

Re:Tea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779658)

The real reason we Brits don't send people into space is because you simply cannot get a decent cup of tea there!
You most certainly can.

It just locks up your spaceship's computer systems and pisses off your fellow crew members.

Re:Tea (1)

DittoBox (978894) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779748)

Almost but not entirely unlike, tea.

Blame it on Torchwood (3, Funny)

Fizzlewhiff (256410) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779354)

They have too many hands in the British government.

Re:Blame it on Torchwood (1, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779416)

They have too many hands in the British government.
Yeah. "Informative". What if "he" returns? Heh.

Pathetic.... (2, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779380)

Pathetic whimperings of a dying civilization.

If one takes the British position that 'man has no business in space' then there isn't a point to sending robots beyond geostationary orbit either. The whole point of sending robots is that they are cheaper and more expendable to send than humans, thus they are good for the early scouting missions. But if humans aren't eventually going, what is the freaking point?

Re:Pathetic.... (5, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779406)

Theres this thing, im not sure you have much of it over the pond, its called science. There is know need/point in wasting money in some ego race to see who can touch mars first, but by exploring the universe we can expand our scientific knowledge.

Re:Pathetic.... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779590)

Yeah because science never had anything to do with humans doing experiments on location....

Re:Pathetic.... (4, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779638)

erm, it didn't. Read a journal and you'll see that experiments just happen, e.g 'chemical A was mixed with chemical B and C occurred', not that the tense matters but my point is it doesn't have to be a human doing the experiment to get the data. On earth we tend to try and get humans as far from the experiments as possible, because we lack the rigor of robots.

There is little chance of sending a man to astrological location is the most efficient way to gather scientific data, so why bother when wed be better of spending the money researching stuff like stem cells, evolution or black holes.

Re:Pathetic.... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779682)

There is know need/point in wasting money in some ego race...

I'd read your previous comment comparing US education to "a supper massive black hole", considered suggesting that you leave advocacy of the British system to one of your fellow countrymen, and decided not to bother. You've left me no choice, though.

Re:Pathetic.... (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779824)

I have only 3 things to say about that.
1)The quality of my spelling and grammar, doesn't actually affect the quality of my argument.
2)My poor spelling doesn't prevent me understanding science, where as the quality of some American science education does.
3)We cant make very good keyboards.

Re:Pathetic.... (2, Insightful)

Gordo_1 (256312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779684)

Traditionally, the ego race is precisely the means by which your elitist ilk entice us regular folk (i.e. politicians, janitors and steroid-abusing baseball players) to consider giving any of our hard earned tax dollars to this so called "science" you speak of.

Re:Pathetic.... (1)

dgarbett (833374) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779792)

I'm English and I have to say I'm embarrassed by the Beagle II fiasco. NASA has done the real science there. We seemed to be going for - look for life on Mars or bust.

Re:Pathetic.... (4, Informative)

msauve (701917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779434)

If one takes the British position that 'man has no business in space' ...

No, their position is that government should play no role in sending men into space. Feel free to do it by private effort, if you want.

Re:Pathetic.... (5, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779484)

No, their position is that government should play no role in sending men into space.


No, read the article. As a Libertarian sort I'd be down with that part about not stealong my money to blast somebody else into space. But yhey are spewing propaganda to British school children. To quote the article:

2. Make the case for ending human space flight. Outline the advantages of using satellites and the disadvantages and dangers of manned missions. Include an explanation as to why manned missions have continued despite the cost and loss of life.


That is a sign of a civilization that has lost not only the will to live, it isn't even all that curious anymore. If you aren't ever planning on roving over the mountain eventually, why waste the money sending a robot to look around?

Re:Pathetic.... (2, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779586)

As a Libertarian
Your an anarcho-communist too?

But yhey are spewing propaganda to British school children.
Right because making the case for an item is propaganda.
1)There will probably be a who section space flight, so making a case for not poluting the atmosphere is probably worth it
2)They then give children the counter arguments.(So basically the lesson would cover, reasons not to go into space (danger, pollution, too many Americans there), then why we do it anyway (science & pride))
3)British teachers are fairly free to give their opinion AS opinion, and telling them that the children will be examined on the pros & cons of space travel doesn't force them to oppose it.

If you aren't ever planning on roving over the mountain eventually, why waste the money sending a robot to look around?
Why rove over it, if you can get all the information you need by safer, cheaper, less environmentally damaging, more scientific ways?

p.s criticizing our scientific education is not so much the pot calling the kettle black, more like a supper massive black hole calling the sun heavy. Perhaps if you paid less attention to the "propaganda" in British schools, you might notice some of the crap your kids get taught.

Re:Pathetic.... (2, Insightful)

globaljustin (574257) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779796)

But yhey are spewing propaganda to British school children. To quote the article:

2. Make the case for ending human space flight. Outline the advantages of using satellites and the disadvantages and dangers of manned missions. Include an explanation as to why manned missions have continued despite the cost and loss of life.

The thought of British authorities trying to use the horrible danger of human spaceflight to brainwash students to be frightened of the idea reminds me of Reefer Madness [wikipedia.org]

Re:Pathetic.... (4, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779486)

That's exactly right. And it kind of annoys me that every time there is a story like this they say "British Astronauts Banned".. like there's some law prohibiting citizens of the UK from going to space.

Re:Pathetic.... (2, Interesting)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779508)

I saw some program about that, it sounds like they make it as hard as possible for private astronaut programs as well.

Re:Pathetic.... (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779676)

Its like they were pointlessly pumping tones of CO2 into the atmosphere, or something!

Re:Pathetic.... (-1, Flamebait)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779550)

If one takes the British position that 'man has no business in space' then there isn't a point to sending robots beyond geostationary orbit either. The whole point of sending robots is that they are cheaper and more expendable to send than humans, thus they are good for the early scouting missions. But if humans aren't eventually going, what is the freaking point?
Should Brits go into space though? As one, I question the relevance of the UK in today's World. The Sun has set on the Empire and is now setting on democracy too. The UK is a formerly great nation now controlled by incompetent, treacherous politicians, and its populace of obese, selfish, lazy, ignorant, gimme-gimme drunkards are manipulated by the media of Rupert Murdoch to obsess with security, celebrity and pedophiles.

While space -- sans craft or suit -- might be a good place for some of them, the future of the human race is best preserved by ensuring the majority of Brits stay terribly firmly on Terra Firma.

Probably the only reason the UK Politburo has changed its mind on this is so they can install security cameras on a satellite somewhere to keep yet more of the population under close control.

Re:Pathetic.... (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779662)

Much less flaimbait that the GP, slightly OT, but not flaimbait. O its -1 now, i see the FOX watchers have got to you ( couldnt have been the SUN readers in Murdoch empire as their too scared of the pedonet)

Re:Pathetic.... (1, Insightful)

unbug (1188963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779706)

I know this is going to be unpopular but... So what is the point of sending people to different planets? Is there one, if we leave aside the "new frontier" romantics (which I'm too old for) and the "save the mankind from an asteroid crash" stuff (which seems a bit silly, to be honest)? The US eventually stopped sending people to the moon because, among other things, they just didn't know what to do there. Would sending people really gain us much more over sending probes?

Re:Pathetic.... (1)

f0dder (570496) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779778)

The point of sending people to different planet is that it presents all sorts of new engineering challenges that otherwise would not get any attention. It's one thing to talk about putting a man on mars, it's another to build an entire system that does that. The pay off in the end, is that now as a nation, you have industries capable of doing/creating something no one else can. For all the scare about China and its factories. There is nothing made in China that can't be made anywhere else. They just happen to do it cheaper.

Re:Pathetic.... (3, Interesting)

unbug (1188963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779858)

This doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Firstly, doesn't the fact that those engineering challenges would have been overlooked if not for manned space travel mean that they aren't really that important for anything else? And secondly, doesn't the same logic apply to all sorts of other things like living on the bottom of the ocean, growing wheat in Antarctica and diving into volcanoes? Not that I'm advocating any of these, I just don't see what's so special about space travel in this respect.

Re:Pathetic.... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779914)

I guess that depends on what you think humans' role in space will be. One thing is if you think humans can be useful, another thing is if you think they can "hold their own" compared to robots. After all, a human will be 80kg of raw weight, plus air recycling unit, plus water and food production unit, plus radiation shield, g-force friendly landing plus lots more. Yes, what the Mars probes have done could probably be done in a few hours by a geologist but getting him there and keeping him alive would be a monumental effort.

Manual labor is dwindling rapidly in value, and with remote control you have to ask what the benefit is of having humans up there at all. I think you need quite substantial economics of scale and complexity to need the flexibility of live humans, for example in the case of repairs they're rarely any good if you haven't got spare parts. That works for a robot fleet but not for custom builds which there's only a few of. If you just accept that they'll probably be servicemen to a robot fleet, the balance of "how much can you assist the robots" to "how many robots are requireed to assist you" weighs heavily in the favor of just robots.

I think a "drydock" expeditiion would be a nice start... create a biosphere that's supposed to contain humans, send up some plants and animals... if you can't keep a controlled atmosphere, temperature, humidity, water and food supply etc. then there's no point at all. Also, remember that if you want a "backup" solution to earth the colony has to be self-sustained, and I mean really self-sustained. If it'd die within say 100 years due to lack of spare parts, resources or energy without support from earth then it'd be no backup at all - it'll be the last fraction of humanity dying.

To put it very bluntly: Leaving people out in the cold won't by itself get you any closer to making them survive the cold. In the same way, making people survive in a bunker on Mars won't give you any insight in how they could sustain themselves. All it means is that by consuming the resources they brought with them, they can temporarily survive. It's neat in a way, on the other hand it's like proving someone can go without food in their fridge as long as they can call for pizza....

Re:Pathetic.... (2, Funny)

jamesh (87723) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779920)

The whole point of sending robots is that they are cheaper and more expendable to send than humans

I think that's why they prefer to send Americans and Russians instead. ...

yes okay, i'll leave quietly.

How backward! (5, Funny)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779386)

How can Britain not have a astronaut program, when a country like Nigeria already has astronauts in space. I got an email from one of their astronauts describing the funds to get him back down were in an account that needed to be transferred out of Nigeria in order to gain access to it.

Re:How backward! (3, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779454)

We're to busy coming up with the next "Reality Show" craze - and training amateur porn stars.
But I repeat myself...

Re:How backward! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779530)

hey, if they even use 1% of the money they give away via mail, then they have more that enoug money to bug the fucking moon!

Re:How backward! (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779870)

How can Britain not have a astronaut program, when a country like Nigeria already has astronauts in space. I got an email from one of their astronauts describing the funds to get him back ...

He's exploring black holes, where your money will end up.
   

Astroids (1)

a3I300I)y (1253026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779392)

Ok, I read it at first as UK government reconsiders ban on astroids. I've heard of some ridiculous bans, but that would be pretty out there...

CCTV (4, Funny)

RockMFR (1022315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779458)

Maybe they're afraid that they won't be able to keep tabs on the astronauts in space? What's to prevent British astronauts from putting some duct tape over the cameras and engaging in terrorism?!

Ironic (2, Interesting)

TFer_Atvar (857303) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779464)

Ban something, and you may choose to regret not having the option later. The solution? Ban nothing. Or, ban banning.

Perfectly reasonable for a police state (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779468)

Sending a person into outer space would put him or her beyond the reach of police surveillance.

That's just not on. What do you think we are in the UK, some kind of namby pamby democracy?

B. Hussein Obama hates White Folk (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779502)

Facts about Barak Hussein Obama:
  • Obama hates white people.
  • Obama is a Muslim.
  • Obama is a drug abuser . . . and
  • Obama is a homo. [worldnetdaily.com]
Get all the facts, then decide!

UK creating an ECHOLON in SPACE? (2, Insightful)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779504)

I guess the UK got tired of the United States government's fancy spy stations spying on the rest of the world :)

British Cuisine (1)

frankmu (68782) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779516)

So the Koreans sent up kimchee, the Japanese had ramen. What wonderful food can the British send up to space with their people?

Re:British Cuisine (1)

kernowyon (1257174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779542)

Cockles! Nope - that isn't a rude response - little sea snails in vinegar are quite popular in the UK seaside towns.

Re:British Cuisine (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779558)

Fish'n chips, mate!!! All this bloody world was sailed by Queens-men fed on Fish'n chips!!!

Re:British Cuisine (1)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779572)

How about Yorkshire Pudding, which isn't a pudding & doesn't originate in Yorkshire :-)

Re:British Cuisine (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779596)

What wonderful food can the British send up to space with their people?
Deep fried Mars Bars, washed down with 10 pints of lager.

Re:British Cuisine (1)

theeddie55 (982783) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779624)

that would be scottish cuisine, only you can't deep fry in space. surely as a stereotype you can't go wrong with some good jellied eels.

Re:British Cuisine (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779692)

looked at a map recently? the big thing at the top of the British Isles is erm...oh no have the AA done it again. *runs of to see if scotland has suffered the same problem as wales, spontaneously sinking into the see!

Re:British Cuisine (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779734)

fish and chips I would assume?

Re:British Cuisine (2, Interesting)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779746)

That stereotype is unwarranted. The UK has some of the best restaurants in the world. The Fat Duck [benking.co.uk] , for instance, was named best restaurant in the world and was runner up three times. There's another restaurant in the same village that's in the top 20 as well, I believe.

Theakston's Old Peculiar (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779854)

Perhaps that's why manned space flight is banned. Old Pec comes from heaven and we aren't giving it back.

Wait a sec (1)

The Dobber (576407) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779524)

Then how do they explain Space 1999?

Re:Wait a sec (1)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779544)

You fool, that was 1999. It's 2008, you insensitive clod!

human space exploration is a pseudo science (0, Troll)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779526)

Something like the manned moon mission was cool for its own sake as a demonstration of engineering prowess.

But the idea that any of this has been or can be steps towards a space-faring future is utter BS. From energy considerations, it doesn't work. If you think of planets as barren or far away, like say, a far away, barren continent, then it seems to work metaphorically. But if you calculate how far away they really are, and how hot or cold they really are, it never works, not even close. Not suprisingly, space-travel components always avoid those calculations. For example...people talk of extracting hydrogen from the Martian atmosphere for a return trip. How long would this take, using optimistic, back-of-the-envelope calculations? Serious thinking about space exploration should start with such estimates. But they are always mysteriously vague or absent.

While I'm at it, "private" space flight involving low-cost airplane-like vehicles is also a con. Yes, such craft can get into "space". But to reach a useful orbit requires something like a huge rocket - just calculate the potential energy difference. The press releases never mention that.

NASA scientists must of course make a living. It would be nice to see more earth science and big telescopes. Give the honest scientists more money, and let the rest find something else to do for a living.

Re:human space exploration is a pseudo science (1)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779560)

whoops, that's almost as annoying as someone leaving the caps-lock on, sorry

Re:human space exploration is a pseudo science (1)

atlastiamborn (1252206) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779678)

You just need enough dilithium to regulate the warp drive. You'll be there, and back, in no time.

Duh.

Dear England (5, Funny)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779556)

I know you're worried about the risks of sending people into outer space and all that, but please do consider the following.

(Holds up sack.)

England, do you know what these are? Perhaps not. It's been a while, hasn't it. Let me explain: these, dear friends, are your balls. You had them for a while once, back when you were a colonial power, you had big titanium steel ones while you fought the Nazis, and you had pretty good sized ones when you kicked the crap out of Argentina. But ever since you stopped sending humans into space, they've been sitting quietly in a burlap sack, growing old, gathering dust, completely unused while you drink beer and make funny movies and wonder what the hell happened to the England that was.

You know you want them back. You know you want to feel them again, along with the rush and thrill of going places where human beings just weren't designed to go. You know you want it, because that's where we've always gone as a species: where we're not supposed to.

Go on England. Explore space again. Get your balls back.

Until you do, I'll keep them in my lock box, along with the brains of the people who designed City of Heroes. They won't be needing those anytime soon, I assure you.

Love, MAX.

Re:Dear America (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779794)

Shortly after kicking the crap out of Argentina, we realized that nobody liked a bully and decided to stop kicking the crap out of smaller countries. After a short discussion we (as were a small country so we all sit down with the queen for tea and make these decisions), have decided that as a nation we would rather be neutered and not act like a stupid tomcat, that keeps running into danger and getting itself injured. While grand displays of bravery/stupidity were useful when intimidating the rest of the world and creating an empire, we've been their and done that. In this age, we would rather just go to the pub with our friends and drink some REAL bear (we still have a recipe if you want some)and sit around in mediocrity, however were not that fused about it so if all your spending on a space race ruins your economy well make an offer of £100 for our balls.

your sincerely,
England

Re:Dear America (1, Funny)

NNOP (1162249) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779866)

Dear England, We, as an even smaller country, have never kicked the crap out of anyone. (Although for some reason we keep getting asked along as some sort of stupid sidekick) Anyway as a country of avid pub patrons we really want the 'REAL bear' recipe you mentioned. Usually we drink beer in our pubs but we do have a problem with an overpopulation of drop-bears and any demand for their tasty meat would be of great use in culling their numbers. Yours Sincerely, Australia

I think we should ban astronauts everywhere (-1, Offtopic)

coren2000 (788204) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779580)

I had an astronaut move into my parents neighbourhood. All the decent people moved out as quickly as they could, those left saw their housing prices drop. More astronauts moved to the neighbourhood and crime skyrocketed. Drugs and prostitution on the street corner etc. My family has moved to the country where there are very few astronauts, and we can live decent god fearing lives.

We have to do something about these astronauts

Re:I think we should ban astronauts everywhere (1)

gumpish (682245) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779766)

i lol'd

The UK has never lived down Australia (5, Funny)

femto (459605) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779614)

See hundreds of years ago the equivalent to space exploration was sending a ship around the world. The UK was a leader in this effort. In 1770 a guy called Cook discovered a place called Australia and in 1788 a colonising fleet was sent from the UK to this new world. The new colony succeeded beyond the UK's wildest dreams. It's inhabitants evolved into bronzed, suntanned titans, with physical and mental capabilities beyond anything the UK was remotely capable of. Worst of all they repeatedly whopped the UK at all sports. The final straw was when the Australian colony sent back this thing called Neighbours and destroyed the Queen's English, the foundation of the UK's national identity, culture and pride.

The UK resolved "never again".

:-)

Re:The UK has never lived down Australia (1)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779652)

the Queen's English, the foundation of the UK's national identity, culture and pride.

And here I thought it was David Bekham.

Re:The UK has never lived down Australia (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779708)

Since the destruction of the Queen's English on Monday October 27, 1986 [wikipedia.org] , noting the correlation with the UK's decision to ban manned space flight, they had to fill the void with something to try and save national unity. Beckham was the best they could come up with.

Re:The UK has never lived down Australia (1)

GearType2 (614552) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779716)

but he did mention the queen

Re:The UK has never lived down Australia (5, Funny)

jimmux (1096839) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779764)

...and mental capabilities beyond anything the UK was remotely capable of.

You don't live in Australia, do you?

Even we don't talk up our mental capabilities.

mod 04 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779650)

Assholes, as they handy, you are free influence, the if you don't to yet another FreeBSD's Of Jordan Hubbard it wwil be among It will be among do, and with any Www.anti-slash.org example, if you

Hey I don't blame them (5, Funny)

Orleron (835910) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779670)

Why would they send a man back into space after what happened to Major Tom, and all?

Scale it down a bit... (4, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779710)

  • Career Counselor: What do you wanna do with your life? Tell me your dreams!"
  • Student: I wanna be an astronaut! And go into outer space and discover things that no one's ever discovered before!
  • Counselor: Look, you're British, so scale it down a bit.
  • Student: All right, then I wanna work in a shoestore! And discover shoes that no-one's ever discovered! Right at the back of the shop on the left ...
  • Counselor: Look, you're British, so scale it down a bit!
  • Student: All right, then I wanna work in a sewer. And discover sewage that no-one's ever discovered before. I'll pile it on my head, then come to the surface and sell myself to an art gallery.
  • Counselor: What the fuck have you been smoking, eh?

- Eddie Izzard, Dress to Kill

kfailzors (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779718)

40,000 workstat1ons

But they do have manned astronauts! Moonraker! (4, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779728)

Are you telling me Moonraker wasn't real???

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moonraker_(film) [wikipedia.org]

WHAT? But Roger Moore is British! It even says so in Wikipedia, so he's been up in space.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Moore [wikipedia.org]

It's on Wikipedia. It must be real!

What do you mean that's not real life? I don't understand! That can't be right. If it is how can I ever aspire to having sex in zero G with a gorgeous Russian spy?

Appropriate for the day! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22779758)

Very appropriate story for St. Patrick's Day... a plan to get rid of all the Brits by blasting them into space! I approve!

But.... (1)

fuego451 (958976) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779780)

...Keith Richards has already boldly gone where no man has been before.

The British got it right (3, Insightful)

SquirrelsUnite (1179759) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779818)

At this point human spaceflight is at best a propaganda exercise and at worst a complete waste of money. Why should the UK change their stance on the issue? Has human spaceflight become more interesting in the last 20 years? More strategically important? More affordable?
I realize human spaceflight is inspiring but that in itself isn't enough to justify the expenses.

G8 (0)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779844)

G8 group of leading economies

+5 Funny. I think you mean the G7 group of leading economies.

Re:G8 (3, Informative)

kaos07 (1113443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22779884)

Actually G7 is when the Finance Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States of America meet to discuss economic policy.

G8 is when the heads of government of those countries plus Russia meet to talk about a wide variety of things.

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