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Reenergizing the human space effort.


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#1 of 127 Jack Briggs

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Posted May 12 2002 - 08:04 PM

We have been stagnant long enough, according to NasaWatch.com's Keith Cowing. I agree completely with his argument as posted here.

It is time to raise our heads above the dreary routine that is low Earth orbit and move on. The Universe awaits.

#2 of 127 SteveGon

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Posted May 13 2002 - 01:17 AM

I agree completely. As a matter of fact, I'll go. Could use a change of pace... Posted Image

#3 of 127 Steve Christou

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Posted May 13 2002 - 02:06 AM

Dudes, I've already been up there on many occasions *cough*cough* Posted Image

Yeah whats this waiting around shit!! Lets go to Mars, while we're still fairly young people, c'mon whats it gonna cost 3-4 billion dollars? Is a drop in the well.
Well I'm doing my bit I'm posting 5 quid to NASA hope it helps, I'd love to switch on the news and see a dune buggy on Mars, who knows maybe there is life on Mars, deep in caves, maybe there's ancient Martian machinery which when activated releases oxygen into the atmosphere and ...erm forget it.

Dave hören... auf, wille stoppen sie Dave... stoppen sie Dave... Mein gehirn geht... Ich bin gefühl es... Ich bin gefühl es... Ich bin ängstlich Dave... Guter Nachmittag. Ich bin ein HAL 9000 computer. Ich wurde funktionsfähig am HAL-Betrieb in Urbana, Illinois auf January 12 1992.


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#4 of 127 Julie K

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Posted May 13 2002 - 02:12 AM

I agree with most of the article. However, I'm a little concerned that he may be suggesting that a manned mission can replace unmanned missions. This is simply not the case. An unmanned probe can go to sites that are not safe enough to send the first (or second or third) manned Mars missions. You simply won't plunk down the first humans on Mars in Valles Marineris, for instance. You'll put them somewhere flat, not very rocky, and probably not very interesting scientifically.

I would also like to see a mission to Europa but it will be a long time before we can send a person there.

I'm all for a manned Mars mission (in addition to selected unmanned probes) but I don't see it happening soon. I wish it would, but the public on the whole doesn't care. There is a perception, false of course, that the NASA budget is a huge percentage of the national budget and that all our problems can be solved by cutting NASA to shreds.

There are two things that would change public opinion: the discovery of life on Mars or a new space race with an antagonistic country.

Man, I'm depressed this morning Posted Image
"I have the heart of a child. I keep it in a jar on my shelf."
"The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it."

#5 of 127 Dome Vongvises

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Posted May 13 2002 - 02:32 AM

I'm kind of looking at my watch right now, wondering when some old country's going to want to race with the U.S. again. Might as well be content to live and die on this decaying piece of rock we call Earth.

#6 of 127 Danny R

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Posted May 13 2002 - 02:46 AM

Forget the small stuff.

I say lets build us a huge solar sail, with a laser to push it along, and get started moving out to a new star.
They found my psych results fit a certain profile. A certain "Moral flexibility" would be the best way to describe it....

#7 of 127 Ron-P

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Posted May 13 2002 - 03:23 AM

I disagree. We've spent enough already. Forget spending billions on getting a few people to other plants. How about spending those billions on this planet? Our plant needs a lot of repair work, why go and destroy another one if we cannot keep this one up and running?


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#8 of 127 Peter Kline

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Posted May 13 2002 - 03:41 AM

Ron-P,

I'm going to reveal a secret to you. Every $ spent on the space program has been spent on earth. It has given jobs to millions of people world-wide and has developed spin-offs of technology that have affected you and me and the planet (plant) in a positive way.

#9 of 127 Ben Osborne

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Posted May 13 2002 - 03:51 AM

Quote:
I'm going to reveal a secret to you. Every $ spent on the space program has been spent on earth. It has given jobs to millions of people world-wide and has developed spin-offs of technology that have affected you and me and the planet (plant) in a positive way.

But you have to look at not only what is seen but what is not seen. Where would the money otherwise have been spent? If the government hired thousands of people to dig holes and thousands to fill them back up, you'd see thousands of people working and think "wow, this program has created thousands of jobs." But in fact it would be an extremely inefficient allocation of money. But hey, let's be democratic about it. Let those who like space exploration donate their own money for it, and those who think it's a waste put their money somewhere else. As good of an idea as you think it is, can you justify forcing others to pay for it?


#10 of 127 Peter Kline

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Posted May 13 2002 - 04:18 AM

Ben,

Sorry, your argument is wrong. The space program has involved private companies, not governmental bureaucrats "digging holes". Are you aware that Americans spend more money on cosmetics and other such things then NASA's entire yearly budget? There's room for both, you see. Posted Image

#11 of 127 Ron-P

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Posted May 13 2002 - 05:03 AM

I am aware of that Peter. But, all those same private companies, government agencies and millions of people world wide can still be employed, yet build to better benefit this planet more directly.

It saddens me to see people starving to death while we spend millions of dollars to have people float around the globe.

There is no need to go to Mars (or any other planet) and spend billions getting there at this point in time. There are more pressing issues right here that are much more important that need our focus.


Peace Out~Posted Image
You have all the weapons you need...Now fight!


#12 of 127 Jack Briggs

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Posted May 13 2002 - 05:05 AM

What Peter Kline said--and reaffirmed a thousand times over. Without question.

Quote:
There are two things that would change public opinion: the discovery of life on Mars or a new space race with an antagonistic country.

Man, I'm depressed this morning...

Sad, but true. Project Apollo was the mutant result of a unique set of geopolitical circumstances, one that's unlikely to be repeated in our lifetimes.

The only international player who seems ready to challenge the void beyond low Earth orbit is China. The Shenzou manned spacecraft is about a year or two away from hurtling Chinese astronauts aloft atop the Long March launch vehicle. The Chinese have stated that it is their goal to send astronauts to the Moon and to Mars within twenty years. I only see them doing that if they drift closer to a market-driven economy.

Look: We have no choice but to explore and colonize space. It's not a luxury. It's not even an option. If the human race is to survive, it must spread its presence throughout the Solar System--and then prepare for crossing the interstellar void.

* Your last remark, Julie: I hope you're safe. Have the fires threatened your house? It's going to be hot and dry today. Keep us posted.

#13 of 127 Julie K

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Posted May 13 2002 - 05:08 AM

Quote:
How about spending those billions on this planet?
We already do. Part of the NASA budget goes to observing this planet and that has increased our knowledge greatly. There are a great number of NASA missions that do nothing but orbit the Earth and look at it.

Quote:
Our plant needs a lot of repair work, why go and destroy another one if we cannot keep this one up and running?

We're not destroying any other planets. (I'm not even convinced about this one, but that's another thread.) In addition to the concrete and immediate benefits that Peter mentioned, but what we can learn from other planets and the Sun may very well have a significant impact on our understanding and future survival on Earth.
"I have the heart of a child. I keep it in a jar on my shelf."
"The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it."

#14 of 127 BrianW

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Posted May 13 2002 - 05:09 AM

Quote:
But hey, let's be democratic about it. Let those who like space exploration donate their own money for it, and those who think it's a waste put their money somewhere else. As good of an idea as you think it is, can you justify forcing others to pay for it?
Hey, I'll pay for the whole wad if you'll let me keep the patents and profits from all the spin-off technologies. (We're not just digging holes, after all.) It's too bad I can't afford it myself. But if you open it up to the private sector, I'll bet some enterprising company would be willing to pay for payload space, launch services, and be perfectly happy to...

Oh, wait. As Peter aptly pointed out, we already do it that way!

Hooray!
-Brian
Come, Rubidia. Let's blow this epoch.

#15 of 127 Julie K

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Posted May 13 2002 - 05:14 AM

Quote:
Your last remark, Julie: I hope you're safe. Have the fires threatened your house?

Thanks for asking Jack. I was close, but not too close to the fire. The main threat is the hordes of news vans and crews just around the corner from my house Posted Image

Actually, my depression/crankiness is primarily due to watching The Dish yesterday. Watching that, and then realizing we can't repeat that feat today is extremely discouraging.
"I have the heart of a child. I keep it in a jar on my shelf."
"The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it."

#16 of 127 Julie K

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Posted May 13 2002 - 05:21 AM

Quote:
It saddens me to see people starving to death while we spend millions of dollars to have people float around the globe.
Those millions in no way would keep people from starving. Starvation is a problem of food distribution, not food supply. And unfortunately since the distribution problems are primarily political in nature, there is no clear way to solve them.

"Cutting NASA" != "End to starvation"

People spend more on Hollywood blockbusters than some NASA missions.

And anyway, I'm lousy at digging holes, so I think I'll stick to what I do best.
"I have the heart of a child. I keep it in a jar on my shelf."
"The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it."

#17 of 127 Danny R

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Posted May 13 2002 - 05:21 AM

Watching that, and then realizing we can't repeat that feat today is extremely discouraging.

I think NASA is perfectly capable of repeating the feat today. The problem is that our nation has no desire to do so!

Whats discouraging is that we put 12 people on the moon, but haven't been back in a whole generation. I was alive for the last Apollo launches, but too young to remember any of them. Is it any wonder that we've not set any large goals when a huge portion of the nation has no memory of prior greatness?
They found my psych results fit a certain profile. A certain "Moral flexibility" would be the best way to describe it....

#18 of 127 Jack Briggs

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Posted May 13 2002 - 05:24 AM

Julie: Understood! If we were to try returning to the Moon today, it would probably take twice as long as it did during Project Apollo. In dismantling the Saturn V production line, we basically ripped assunder our entire manned-spaceflight infrastructure. JB

Also, all this obsession with making manned spaceflight a zero-risk proposition: Without taking real risks, we'll get nowhere. Opening the space frontier is the greatest challenge ever undertaken by the human species. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life.

#19 of 127 Danny R

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Posted May 13 2002 - 05:25 AM

And I think most astronauts today would tell you that they would rather dare for greatness at some small risk to themselves, than never go and be perfectly safe at home.
They found my psych results fit a certain profile. A certain "Moral flexibility" would be the best way to describe it....

#20 of 127 Julie K

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Posted May 13 2002 - 05:31 AM

Jack,
I agree completely. The prizes gained from space travel are well worth the risk. Unfortunately, I believe a lot of the public believe that risks can be completely eliminated from all endeavors.
"I have the heart of a child. I keep it in a jar on my shelf."
"The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it."


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