This is my piece "Gold nebula"; I don't know why, but despite being a dark vortex the color makes it look bright and happy to me.

Charles Courney Curran's "May Morning" is such a sunny and fresh vision of the season; the pretty girl gathering flowers as her dress blows in the wind really makes it great.

Nuclear-powered road trains might be the correct form of a Martian colony. Might they additionally be monowheels?

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This post's featured image is my own "Monowheel in Martian dust storm".

In these closing days of spring, it might be worth our while to gaze at this delightful William Henry Margetson painting of a pretty girl in a dress drinking some tea.

NASA if they played their cards right could likely have done all this on a similar budget to what they actually got.
The key to all this? Setting near-term, inspiring, affordable goals while leveraging and evolving the hardware you already have to the greatest extent feasible.

Image is of a Shuttle-Derived Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle proposed in 2009. Could have been flying a decade ago for a fifth as much as SLS has cost us.

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In the 1990s we'd have a rotating space station and lunar outposts, both testbeds for commercialization and truly long-duration spaceflight. Revive NERVA, strap it onto such a craft along with a lander, and off to Mars you can go. A simple and affordable next step for the 2000s.

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Comet could have lifted 250 tons to LEO, double the Saturn V, enough for a next-generation Skylab. I'm thinking two curved large modules tethered together, spinning about each other for artificial gravity. Probably would've been cheaper than the ISS; could've swung it by 1990.

Image to left is Skylab A; similar size to my slightly curved module. Image to the right is Gemini and Agena testing the tethering 1966.

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Slicker move in the 1970s would've been to forget the Shuttle, keep the Apollo/Saturn IB, and launch Skylab B. We'd have a space station well into the 1980s; then we could've done the First Lunar Outpost plan, and built its proposed Saturn-derived super-heavy launcher, the Comet.

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After Challenger, NASA mooted a Shuttle-C, a Shuttle stack with a big cargo module instead of a spaceplane. Imagine the space station modules you could lift with that thing!
As capable as Ares V/SLS but without needing 20 years of development. Could've been ready for the 1990s.

Presidential survival in surprise nuclear war has focused on bunkers deep under the White House, but why not rapid escape instead: a rocket?

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This post's featured image is "Don't look back" by me (yes, it's just a quick-and-dirty drawing of my idea).

The true killer, though, is social and political decline. A thousand Americas insures *well* against that: a thousand laboratories of statecraft in the fires of competition lacks the failure modes of a monolithic empire. When the American Empire dies its seeds will live on.

Image © User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0.

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Also good insurance against asteroid or comet impacts bar truly huge ones, but that's what space colonies are for. They could easily be worked into the master plan, along with land outposts, seasteads, and Cloud-Nine-style floating cities.

Image is a NASA artist's concept of a collision at HD 172555.

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For example, any nuclear power could build a "doomsday device" and salt the entire Earth. Why not insure against that possibility with submarine arks, nurturing a nucleus of mankind, and America, through even the worst nuclear war conceivable?

Image is a US Navy photo of a Typhoon-class submarine, the largest hitherto built.

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"Backup Americas", analogues of the American idea whose course is independent of the US, are valuable in theory yet scarce in practice. As a country, why shouldn't we embark upon projects to change that? Why not seed the winds of time and space with a thousand Americas?

Image is "Our Banner In The Sky" by Frederick Edwin Church.

Dissatisfied with how limey my previous attempts at a gold coloring came out, I went back to the drawing board, and created this much better "As within, so without in true gold". 🙂

What level of beflowering is this? The darlings in this delightful vision by Charles Edward Perugini are showing all those poseurs with just one flower in their hair how it's done. 🙃

Eugen von Blaas's "The Love Letter" gives us the pleasant sight of four girls enjoying themselves as one reads a dispatch from her beloved, all in a classically beautiful and spring-like urban setting.

The contrast didn't work out quite as well as I hoped, but it's still a pretty image I think: my new "Blue spiral on orange stripes".

Behind its unassuming mini-shuttle image, the category of lifting bodies is home to some of history's coolest and most futuristic spacecraft.

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This post's featured image is a NASA rendering of the McDonnell Douglas concept for the X-33, a high-performance lifting body.

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Adamas Nemesis

A personal node in the decentralized social network of the future for Adamas Nemesis: blogger, science-fiction writer, artist, and more.