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Jackson
Sujuk








Since: 4.1.02

Since last post: 1990 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.10
Am I the only one who thinks that this whole Star Trek idea is a waste of money and lives? What have we gotten from the trillions spent on this program? Some rocks? Or some experiments on the effects of weightlessness on plants? Have those experiments ever produced anything? For the sake of argument let’s say it's about space exploration even though we can't seem to explore our own orbit. What civilization do we hope to find. If there is more intelligent life out there that WANTS to contact us they will. Do we hope to find a LESS intelligent species that is not capable of space travel so we can then let them immigrate to this planet?

I know these might sound like absurd points but I don't think it's anymore absurd than the fact that NASA wants to use this tragedy to get even more funding. This whole thing started with a bunch of dick waving between China, Russia and ourselves and I guess we won the race to space. Can we stop now?




Bubbles? Oh come on Sharon! I’m Ozzy Osbourne the Prince of Fucking Darkness. Evil, evil, more fucking evil not a boatload of fucking bubbles man.
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Pool-Boy
Lap cheong








Since: 1.8.02
From: Huntington Beach, CA

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#2 Posted on
I think your skepticism is healthy, but a little looking into the facts might change your mind.
One- The whole endeavor is greatly nothing more than the pursuit of knowledge. Yeah, that might seem like a "not worth it" expense, but what the hell are we here for if not to learn and grow as a race? I think there are many unanswered questions about how the Earth was created, how galaxies came to be- hell, how the UNIVERSE came to be. Not ALL pursuits have to beeconomically driven. Hell, if the government can fund the arts, it can sure fund sciences.
Two- The space program has yeilded tremendous benefits to our society. Every satellight in orbit around us now owes its existence to the space program. From TV and radio to telephones, to GPS tracking, to military applications, we would not have quite as many things now as we would if there were no space program.
Three- Jobs and Industry. Do you know how many JOBS the space program provides to people? From scientist to the people that put together a rocket, the space industry is a tremenous boom to the economy. And companies like McDonall-Douglas, and others, who are contracted to develop and build the vehicles, satelites, and other tools USED for this endeavor also can take that technology and put it to use in the private sector, improving all of our lives. As far as the people employed by NASA goes, if you still think it is a waste, I would rather have people employed by the government performing work that is of an enlightening nature, than some BS, made up, beurocratic job that accomplishes NOTHING, but still draw a paycheck out of our tax dollars.
Four- Private industry. Many companies now are exploring the possibility of the commercial mining of asteroids Imagine a source of raw materials that can be mined WITHOUT worrying about environmental impacts?), space tourism (Re: Hilton's Lunar Hotel- 20 years ETC), and many others that owe the very IDEA to the work NASA has completed. Historically, exploration has always began as something spearheaded by the government, but the real explosion came when it finally became profitable. Take the exploration of the Western Hemisphere. Columbus and others came here on the Spanish governments money, but true settling of the continents by Europeans happened when it was economically feasible and profitable to do it WITHOUT royal economic support. There are many workable plans out there now for the colonization of Mars and the Moon, some speculation about Europa, and if a habitable world IS discovered around a nearby star, and the technology has progressed enough, who knows? Keep in mind that humanity has not been involved in space exploration that long. How many hundred years did it take before the first attempts at sending a ship west from Europe to explore, to full blown exodus take? A lot longer than the 50 some odd years that we have been dallying in orbit of our own planet.
Five- Quite frankly, because we can.
The fact is, calling it a "Star Trek idea and a waste of money and lives" is simply shortsited. The astronauts who died KNEW the risk, and if you would have told each of them that they WOULD one day lose their lives in space, I am reasonably sure that they all would still have gone. Hell, I would. And I am sure a lot of people here would too. To say we "can't even explore our own orbit" is ludicris, when you consider the number of wildly SUCESSFUL missions far outweigh the tragedies. But you never hear about those unless you are paying attention to them, because the public is bored with space travel. You might as well say that travelling by train is a HORRIFIC FAILURE because so many trains have crashed resulting in a loss of life!
It is about exploration. It is about furthering the sum total of human knowlege. It is about expanding to other worlds, so we don't overcrowd this one. It is about SELF PRESERVATION. It is about advancing technology on multiple levels. It is about not allowing humanity to become stagnant.
No one ever said it was going to happen all at once. No one said it would even happen in our lifetime. Hell, no one ever said that the "quest" would ever end. But NASA probably serves the most noble purpose that ANY government agency could even hope to, in the grand scheme of things. I, for one, don't think we spend ENOUGH money on it.
Also, keep in mind- not one of the reasons I listed had ANYTHING to do with some far-fethched notion of discovering other intelligent life. The odds are good that it is out there, somewhere, but that has NEVER been the primary motivation of NASA.




Trees are for huggin'!
My attempt at a webpage


Don't ask me why, but I found this cool for some reason...
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1269 days
Last activity: 1066 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
And that doesn't take into account medical research. The Columbia crew was udnertaking research to grow prostate cancer cells in weightlessness so researchers on the ground could search for a cure. Scores of medical research has been undertaken on a variety of subject matter in the weightlessness of space that is impractical and improbable on the ground.

And have they produced anything? Yeah, the insulin that keeps my girlfriend alive.

Now is not the time to cut funding. This is the time to commit ourselves to one



The first is the X-33, the second the X-34. These are the proposed shuttle replacement that had been on the books for some time before falling victim to the budget axe. These projects need to be resurrected in order to, at some point in the future, replace our aging shuttle fleet and further ensure that these things try not to happen again, regardless of the cause of this crash.



Americans are a resolute people who have risen to every test of our time. Adversity has revealed the character of our country, to the world and to ourselves. America is a strong nation, and honorable in the use of our strength. We exercise power without conquest, and we sacrifice for the liberty of strangers. Americans are a free people, who know that freedom is the right of every person and the future of every nation. The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world, it is God's gift to humanity.
- President George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, 1/28/2003
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 72 days
Last activity: 72 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
I think the communication resources alone that the space program is responsible for make it worth continuing. Certain things they do or have done were useless, yes (for example, are we better off in any way for having gone to the moon six times?), and perhaps it isn't quite worth the billions we put into it, but it isn't something we should eliminate all together.
dMp
Banger








Since: 4.1.02
From: The Hague, Netherlands (Europe)

Since last post: 5 hours
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#5 Posted on
Going to the moon was just prestige. "Look at us!"
But most other stuff really has use I believe.
Sure, when you hear some experiments they do it sounds like B.S. Like the Israeli on the fatal Columbia flight studied how certain types of dust react in space, I heard.
Now that makes you go WTF? But later you find out that they can predict a whole range of other things by just knowing how dust acts..and so on.

Technology wouldn't be where it is today without space age technology. I am sure it affects more than we think.






Steve Jackson! Games! Sluggy.com! Games! And err..Games!
TheCow
Landjager








Since: 3.1.02
From: Knoxville, TN

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#6 Posted on
Sheesh, from where I stand, the space program is one of the greatest programs that has ever been around. Pool-Boy hit on most (if not all) of the major points I was going to say (with Grimis helping out).

Honestly.. if we took away all of the satellites we had orbiting the planet right now, we'd lose a LOT of our great things (and not just the US, either - any country that can send them into space would be affected). If I'm not mistaken, do we not use satellite tracking for purposes of national defense, too?

Think about its intangible benefits. Are you telling me that not even once in your life you imagined what it would look like to be up in space, staring back at Earth? Back when I was young, I imagined it every once in a while. Never really considered doing it for a living, but I thought it might be nice. It's a hope for the unlikely... that some day while we're still living, we might - just might - be able to see what life truly is like on another world.

(At the rate the population is accelerating, it might become necessary to do that, actually.)

Now, this isn't to say that there hasn't been budget overruns. Does the system need to be reworked a little bit? Yeah, I'd say it does. Doesn't mean we have to get rid of it entirely, though.







Which Neglected Mario Character Are You?

MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 15 hours
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.73
Wonderful replies all (especially Pool-Boy). One thing I will add is that investment in industries that are on the cutting technological edge (which fairly describes the space program) eventually trickles down (the good kind of trickle-down) to the consumer level. Today's nutty, super-expensive, technology is tomorrow's cheap way to get around. Who knows, we might be flying cross-country faster for less money because of engine technology that wouldn't otherwise have been developed if we hadn't have been trying to send folks to Mars.



It seems that I am - in no particular order - Zack Morris, John Adams, a Siren, Janeane Garofalo, Aphrodite, a Chihuahua, Data, Cletus the Slack Jawed Yokel, Amy-Wynn Pastor, Hydrogen, Bjork, Spider-Man, Boston, and a Chaotic Good Elvin Bard-Mage.
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1269 days
Last activity: 1066 days
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
More NASA spin-offs can be reached Click Here



Americans are a resolute people who have risen to every test of our time. Adversity has revealed the character of our country, to the world and to ourselves. America is a strong nation, and honorable in the use of our strength. We exercise power without conquest, and we sacrifice for the liberty of strangers. Americans are a free people, who know that freedom is the right of every person and the future of every nation. The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world, it is God's gift to humanity.
- President George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, 1/28/2003
Enojado Viento
Potato korv








Since: 12.3.02
From: Your Grocer's Freezer, NC

Since last post: 721 days
Last activity: 48 days
#9 Posted on
The way I look at it is this: NASA does a LOT of work that may have no immediate benefit, but pays off later. Just because you can't have it right now doesn't mean it won't be important later.

On the other hand, the Defense Department wastes money hand over fist on flawed, unsafe, and unworkable technologies that show dangerous flaws in the testing stages but get rushed into production anyway (*coughOspreycough*) and oddly enough, no one questions the need for the Pentagon.

Enough with the double standard. Yes, a shuttle blew up because of negligence (as it stands now). It's sad. People die every day from flawed planes that flip over on takeoff, or the tires on their SUVs,factories explode due to not following nominal safety procedures, and no flags fly at half-staff for them. Nor, surprisingly, do people call for the dissolution of these industries.

So my question is this--if it's all right for OTHER industries and/or organs of government to have margins of error measured in fatality, why pick on NASA?



-LS

"Yeah, well, the movie lied."
oldschoolhero
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: nWo Country

Since last post: 1987 days
Last activity: 1921 days
#10 Posted on
"So my question is this--if it's all right for OTHER industries and/or organs of government to have margins of error measured in fatality, why pick on NASA?"

We fear change.

(Repeatedly stabs fake plastic hand.)

It's a damn good job our forefathers didn't pack up and go home when people died on THEIR voyages of discovery...



"Here's the thing: I don't give a tupenny f*ck about your moral conundrum, you meatheaded shit-sack. That's pretty much the thing." Daniel Day-Lewis as Bill "The Butcher" Cutting, Gangs Of New York. You'd be surprised at how many statements this can be used as a response to.

evilwaldo
Lap cheong








Since: 7.2.02
From: New York, NY

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
It is easy to pick on the department whose funds do not yield immeadiate benefits.

My problem is that we set goals but never follow up after they are achieved. The moon for example, we get there, visit a few times, and never go back. We build a space shuttle and never improve upon it. We talk about putting a man on Mars but there is no timetable. If we are going to put people on Mars it would make sense to go back to the Moon a couple of times to test the technology.

They keep cutting the budgets but are quick to place blame when somethign goes wrong. There is no long-term planning because Congress does not want to make any commitments.



'I'm, like, angry at numbers.'

'Yeah, there's to many of them and stuff.'

PalpatineW
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Getting Rowdy

Since last post: 2830 days
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.44
Also, we feel responsible for these people. They are going up there for us, in a sense, on behalf of our government and our people. A lot like our armed forces, really.



Damn your eyes!
Enojado Viento
Potato korv








Since: 12.3.02
From: Your Grocer's Freezer, NC

Since last post: 721 days
Last activity: 48 days
#13 Posted on

    Originally posted by oldschoolhero
    "So my question is this--if it's all right for OTHER industries and/or organs of government to have margins of error measured in fatality, why pick on NASA?"

    We fear change.

    (Repeatedly stabs fake plastic hand.)

    It's a damn good job our forefathers didn't pack up and go home when people died on THEIR voyages of discovery...



. . .My favorite part of "Wayne's World" Thanks.
Some more follow-up thoughts. . .evilwaldo is quite correct about NASA being crippled by budget cuts--budget cuts prevented the shuttle from having an escape module, automation, and other safety precautions which might have caught the problem beforehand.




-LS

"Yeah, well, the movie lied."
Jackson
Sujuk








Since: 4.1.02

Since last post: 1990 days
Last activity: 1515 days
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.10
In almost every other case people agree that having a poorly run bureaucracy is a bad idea despite how many cushy government jobs it produces. Yet somehow, if E.T. is involved it's all good. You are absolutely right. Let the private sector fund it. Technology? All for it. Unmanned satellites that give me good TV? Love it. Spy satellites? Down with it. High cost, high altitude orbital deathtraps? No thanks. I say get the technology down first before sending up any more overpriced manned bottle rockets.

Maybe once we do a bit better at this whole “policeman of the world” thing we can turn our sights on controlling the Universe. If we were doing a better job with what we have on this planet, I would accept the whole Columbus discovery comparison. We have a LONG way to go here and I think these insane amounts of money that we can’t even comprehend could be much better spent on the rock we are on right now.




Bubbles? Oh come on Sharon! I’m Ozzy Osbourne the Prince of Fucking Darkness. Evil, evil, more fucking evil not a boatload of fucking bubbles man.
Scott Summets
Sujuk








Since: 27.6.02

Since last post: 3905 days
Last activity: 3874 days
#15 Posted on
What is great is that Bush is getting rid of the no nuclear explosions in space law! For those that don't know, some treaty we made with the Soviets forbade both of us from exploding anything nuclear in outer space, but now that we can its great, honestly, this could open space travel right up! For more than 15 years we have known how to go 10% the speed of light, and up to even conciveably 33% the speed of light by utilizing Nuclear weapons explosions to power and speed our space craft. It's really complicated stuff, but I read a article by Carl Sagan on the topic, and he spoke about it in Cosmos, how its a shame we can't use Nukes in space, because it would benefit us so much. And I mean, come on, if Carl Sagan is for it--and it applies to space, who the hell could be aganist it?



You don't get it boy, this isn't a mudhole... it's an operating table. And I'm the surgeon.
Something tells me to stop with the leg. I don't listen to it.
But where in the world is there in the world
A man so extroardinaire?

C'est moi, c'est moi, I'm forced to admit!
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1269 days
Last activity: 1066 days
#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29

    Originally posted by Scott Summets
    For more than 15 years we have known how to go 10% the speed of light, and up to even conciveably 33% the speed of light by utilizing Nuclear weapons explosions to power and speed our space craft. It's really complicated stuff, but I read a article by Carl Sagan on the topic, and he spoke about it in Cosmos, how its a shame we can't use Nukes in space, because it would benefit us so much.


Now I've heard about using ion propulsion to get us close to the speed of light. But I don't buy using nukes to get us to 60,000 miles-per-second.



Americans are a resolute people who have risen to every test of our time. Adversity has revealed the character of our country, to the world and to ourselves. America is a strong nation, and honorable in the use of our strength. We exercise power without conquest, and we sacrifice for the liberty of strangers. Americans are a free people, who know that freedom is the right of every person and the future of every nation. The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world, it is God's gift to humanity.
- President George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, 1/28/2003
MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 15 hours
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.73
High cost, high altitude orbital deathtraps? No thanks. I say get the technology down first before sending up any more overpriced manned bottle rockets.

Well, I agree. But I don't understand how how you are going to have anything other than "high altitude orbital deathtraps" without high cost. It's not like we're going to stumble upon a cheap, safe way to fly into freakin' outer space.

You are absolutely right. Let the private sector fund it.

The private sector won't fund it, because it's not profitable unless the technology has been developed at public cost first.

If we were doing a better job with what we have on this planet, I would accept the whole Columbus discovery comparison. We have a LONG way to go here and I think these insane amounts of money that we can’t even comprehend could be much better spent on the rock we are on right now.

You think 15th century Europe was doing a "good job with what they had on the planet?"

And as Grimis' link pointed out, Space exploration ulimately developes new technologies that help us do a better job for cheaper here on our own planet.





It seems that I am - in no particular order - Zack Morris, John Adams, a Siren, Janeane Garofalo, Aphrodite, a Chihuahua, Data, Cletus the Slack Jawed Yokel, Amy-Wynn Pastor, Hydrogen, Bjork, Spider-Man, Boston, and a Chaotic Good Elvin Bard-Mage.
calvinh0560
Boudin rouge








Since: 3.1.02
From: People's Republic of Massachusetts

Since last post: 560 days
Last activity: 4 hours
#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00

    Originally posted by Grimis
    Now I've heard about using ion propulsion to get us close to the speed of light. But I don't buy using nukes to get us to 60,000 miles-per-second.


From what I know about ion propulsion it takes along time to get up to speed so while its a great idea for unmanned space probes its not a option for manned spacecraft unless you are going for a generation ship.

Scott Summets
Sujuk








Since: 27.6.02

Since last post: 3905 days
Last activity: 3874 days
#19 Posted on
    Originally posted by Grimis

      Originally posted by Scott Summets
      For more than 15 years we have known how to go 10% the speed of light, and up to even conciveably 33% the speed of light by utilizing Nuclear weapons explosions to power and speed our space craft. It's really complicated stuff, but I read a article by Carl Sagan on the topic, and he spoke about it in Cosmos, how its a shame we can't use Nukes in space, because it would benefit us so much.


    Now I've heard about using ion propulsion to get us close to the speed of light. But I don't buy using nukes to get us to 60,000 miles-per-second.



I used to be really into this topic, but sadly all my books and tapes are at home, but from what I remeber from them, plus my college physics class last semester, space travel is basically attained by pushing anything out the back of the craft to shoot it forward. Simple, it follows Newton's Laws, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Also, space has no gravity (sorry if this is simple, but it sets up how ion propulsion works), therefore its much easier to propel yourself, this is why a tiny rocket in space is much more effective than a huge booster rocket on the ground. With nothing stoping you, shooting tiny ions out the back will propel you and keep you moving. I don't know about speed of light, but I know NASA has made ion propulsion units that go several thousand miles of hour and keep going faster slowly. But what Sagan said is that with a big enough rocket on the back of a ship, a controlled nuclear explosion could not only power the ship, but if the excess force was shot out the back, send it off at an amazing rate of speed, which makes sense if you consider that a nuclear blast is so much stronger than a simple ion.

After reading Pool Boy's post below, he makes a good point. But honestly, I have seen some INSANE plans for a spacecraft with a 100 mile sized reactor/engine that actually does use nuclear explosions. Sure, there is a .1 percent chance of that being made any time soon, but its good to dream, isn't it?

(edited by Scott Summets on 4.2.03 1358)


You don't get it boy, this isn't a mudhole... it's an operating table. And I'm the surgeon.
Something tells me to stop with the leg. I don't listen to it.
But where in the world is there in the world
A man so extroardinaire?

C'est moi, c'est moi, I'm forced to admit!
Pool-Boy
Lap cheong








Since: 1.8.02
From: Huntington Beach, CA

Since last post: 1316 days
Last activity: 82 days
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#20 Posted on
There is a huge difference between "Nuclear Power" and "Nukes."
Nuclear power has nothing to do with explosions. Contained atoms are broken apart, and the waste product, the energy, that is released is harnessed and used for power. "Nukes" work on the same principle, but there is no control in place- these are DESIGNED to release all of their energy at once, destroying anything nearby.
Anything having to do with the production of energy can be used destructivly. Fire can warm your house, or burn it down.
Nuclear powered craft would be cheaper, safer, and mvore efficient than what we are using now. To deny Nasa THAT tool because you are afraid that it is going to destroy the Earth (ridiculous) is really just narrow minded.
I suggest researching a subject before deciding whether it is right or wrong. You might be surprised.



Trees are for huggin'!
My attempt at a webpage


Don't ask me why, but I found this cool for some reason...
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