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Bush & Space Exploration

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,388
Points
26
Seabishop said:
Am I missing the grand vision?
[Carl Rove]
Yes, you are. You ALL are.
[/Carl Rove]

I tend to agree with you, Seabishop. And I tend to think that the size of the federal deficit does matter.
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
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25
I suppose we will be paying for this through the harvesting of magical money trees as laid out in Bush's "Healthy Forests Initiative."

Really, I'm all for the "vision thing" and giving NASA something to do, but in a time of major budget deficits and war do we really have the resources to put into something like this? Why doesn't the White House propose using some of this money to raise the pitiful pay and of US troops so that we have a chance of retaining a capable armed forces.

Besides, do you really think this little fella's going to welcome us with open arms?
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,699
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69
Personally, I don't have a problem with it. Space exploration in the 1960s lead to great advances in aerospace, medicine, electronics, engineering and physics. I think the cost of not returning to space is much higher than staying put here on 'ol Terra.

Compared with the cost of rebuilding Iraq, increased funds to space exploration are a pittance. Besides, the same argument of "why bother with X, when there's problems with Y" can be used for just about any government activity. "Why bother with space exploration, when there's unemployed steelworkers in Youngstown?" "Why bother with urban planning, when there's child porn on the Internet?"

I'll give Bush a thumbs up for his support of space exploration, as long as it's not just lip service. It still won't be enough to earn my vote in November, but it's a Good Thing IMHO.
 

The Irish One

Member
Messages
2,267
Points
25
Did someone say Science and Technology, I'm all for it! We should try to mine an asteroid for precious metals.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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13,894
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57
I generally think it is not a worthwhile use of massive amounts of resources. I heard the NASA budget is about $58 billion. That seems to be too much.

I understand that space exploration has produced great scientific advances, but so did WWII.

I think the NASA budget could be reduced by $45 billion and then shift the money to public education. Especially, more funding for college education, since our society and culture is now practically mandating that you go to college.

Don't great scientific advances more often come from University study and research?

I think this is really nothing more than a re-election ploy by Bush.
 
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The Irish One

Member
Messages
2,267
Points
25
I think this is really nothing more than a re-election ploy by Bush
He would never..



I understand that space exploration has produced great scientific advances, but so did WWII.
We're doing both, what gives?We must be getting dumber. Ok, so it's going up a billion dollars a year for the next five years, that's a lot of loot and I admit I'm romantic on the idea of space exploration, but there's more to it.

The administration wants to spend 1.5 billion on social engineering (bait).http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20040114/us_nm/bush_marriage_dc
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Probably a ploy to gain votes in Florida, Washington, California and others that he lost that have a large aerospace industry.

More spending and jobs in a state typically means more votes.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
without space exploration we wouldnt have had yummy TANG or astronaut ice cream as food staples in the 70's mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm astronaut ice cream!!! :p

I wonder what yummy food will come next?
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
donk said:
Probably a ploy to gain votes in Florida, Washington, California and others that he lost that have a large aerospace industry.
or to put money in the pocket of someone in... Texas!!??
 

Gedunker

Moderating
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11,485
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41
At this time, I would prefer to see the $750million he's ear-marking for NASA go to the only thing that excited me in his last State of the Union address: Alternative Fuel engines. Success in that endeavor is good for the environment and the economy.

The moon and Mars are not going anywhere anytime soon. There'll be other chances to settle and/or explore.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
Following the saying... it's not good to have all the eggs in one basket... I'd say yes to another breather to space exploration. Though this time it'll probably be a US vs China space race... and mabye the EU joins the US so the space exploration bill doesn't get paid only by the US... :)
Chile has only one "astronaut", I put it as "astronaut" because until now it has only been preparation to go to space, but he has never been there...

Just think for a while... all of the moon sites that are scientifically interesting, that were to be explored, but due to the Apollo budget cut-back and the Apollo 13 failed landing, were not explored... It's been more than 30 years already! (since the last mission, Apollo 17)

EDIT: Just heard that the ESA also wants to go to Mars and the moon... Due to 2014 to the moon and 2030 for mars....that's a bit slow huh? 10 years more to go back to the moon? Sounds reasonable, since they don't have the experience.
 
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el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,995
Points
31
Geo Bush's POV: The American people need a positive national challenge that will captivate the collective American spirit of adventure and discovery, bring us together as a nation and provide uplift to our souls during these hard times. I will propose a challenge that will appeal to all that is best in the American Citizen!

Communist POV: The capitalist war criminal Bush is only doing this to use precious government resources that could help feed and educate the most vulnerable among us so his Space Nazis in the military can “witness” the racist, sexist, homophobic and non-alien atomy embracing fundamentalist Christian faith to the Space Aliens and get a big contract for his capitalist co-conspirator Halliburton.

Liberal POV: The lying war criminal Bush is only doing this to use precious government resources that could help feed and educate the most vulnerable among us so his Space Nazis in the military can “witness” the racist, sexist, homophobic and non-alien atomy embracing fundamentalist Christian faith to the Space Aliens and get a big contract for Halliburton.

Conservative POV: Only the freaking’ hippies could be against a PAX Americana of the Universe. Last night on Fox I saw where Delta Burk, was on Hanity and that other guy, and she said that them Al Queda was planning to kill white women and send Moslem extremists into space. It is our manifest destiny to control the stars.

Green POV: Great! More Space Junk and contaminated planetshpheres! Damn Bush!

Libertarian POV: It tain’t in the Constitution and I own a slice of pie from the core of the earth to my property lines and then on in to the sky. Them’s my galaxies. Stay off of 'em!

GenX and GenNEXT and whatever loser Gen is after that POV: Dude, where is that? Like I thought we already beat the aliens. I saw the Gubernator kick some serious ass on Mars. Did you see the chick with the trip set? Have you seen my…

Military POV: &^%$ - Not another freaking overseas deployment tour!

The Press POV: Will the (insert minority of the week) Astronaut walk on Mercury first? If not, why not? Is your administration covering up an expensive boondoggle? Why is the Space program being ran solely out of the home states of the Bush Brothers? Did your Daddy and Dick Cheney put NASA there? Why can’t you land on Mercury? So what you really mean is you aren’t going to land there because there is no oil there, right?

THE NASA POV: We welcome this challenge! (Translation: We can’t do this without ¼ of the GNP for two decades)

The Hollywood POV: &^&$*()& *^$&#* Bush &*%$ &*(&^$%^ *&^*%# - Thanks, I'm Al Franken, and I'll be on radio soon.
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
H said:
I wonder what yummy food will come next?
Behold the space invention that is...
Pork in a Pill, all the nutritional value and aftertaste of SPAM and other potted meats now in easy to swallow tablet form. Yummmmmm.....


or perhaps the administration will dole out contracts to preferred donors, err... companies, to research the viability of dehydrated water.
 

Grassroots

Cyburbian
Messages
90
Points
4
I am for it generally. still wish my fiance could find a job and health insurance first. that should be the national priority. this was quoted from Yahoo news:

"An extended human presence on the moon 'will enable astronauts to develop new technologies and harness the moon's abundant resources to allow manned exploration of more challenging environments,' the White House said in a prepared statement."

moon's abundant resources?? i must be misinterpreting this or just "misunderestimating" our pres. i thought it was a big freakin' rock.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
No one seems to be asking the right questions like "what's the moon zoned?" That will determine what we can and can't do there. Will arborvitae even grow there to buffer different uses?

Maybe all the NIMBY uses can go there . . . you know, like duplexes, day cares, group homes, churches, and public school kids.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
13,894
Points
57
Space: the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilisations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.


....or....


Space, the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the starship 'Enterprise'. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilisations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,313
Points
44
Going to the moon and establishing a base to go to Mars. My observation: the President is drinking again. :b:
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
moon

"Dangnabbit! if W wants to go to the moon, I say let 'im."
Yup, That's the way I seen it.
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
Yeah, I can see it now. Dubya will contract the space program out to Halliburton without a bid, and the taxpayers will be charged four or five times what it will actually cost. The first five billion will go into research to make Cheney a cyborg. Arnold, due to his experience in "Total Recall" will be Mars' first governor. It will be the beginning of a Brave New World.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
I'm all for space exploration. But then several relatives and friends work for JPL, so it's kind of ingrained...

Bush's wish to explore the moon and Mars is so passe though. The coolest thing I know of in the works right now is the privately funded Solar Sail project. Too cool!
 

plankton

Cyburbian
Messages
750
Points
21
i know who I'd like to shoot off into space...

Going back to the moon, you say?

Sounds like it's time for dem der librels to get over the iraq/wmd thing. And, the enron/corporate malfeasance thing, the loss of jobs, huge budget deficits, crumbling schools, the fla. election, da da da da da....

This is getting old.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
Oh... this got suddenly boring when I realized it wasnt a "lesbians in space" thread. Sorry, Yeah, GHWB might be pontificating on this one....
 

dobopoq

Cyburbian
Messages
1,002
Points
21
Less than half a millenium after Copernicus proved the geocentric theory of the universe to be false, we developed the technology to escape the Earth's gravity. The satellites launched using this technology allowed us to see what the Earth looks like from space. Only from such a high altitude perspective was it possible to discern the Chicxulub Crater on the Yucatan Peninsula. Subsequent observations on the ground revealed that the crater was created 65 mya when a 10 km meteorite struck the Earth and was the likely cause of the dinosaurs extinction.

I highly recommend, "Pale Blue Dot", by Carl Sagan. Here's a link:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0345376595/102-6838476-3248124?v=glance&n=283155&s=books&v=glance
Sagan points out the paradox that rocket technology can both destroy and save the human species. The best way for world peace to come about is by recognition on the part of world leaders, that we all share the same water and air and that the Earth is subject to acts of "Random Interplanetary Violence". This common threat that we all share, far outweighs petty nationalistic differences.

Space exploration with the aim of establishing an eventual extraterrestrial civilation is necessary for three basic reasons:

1. To sustain the human species in the event of an externally caused impact event - i.e. To develop the technology to detect, intercept, divert and or destroy Near Earth Objects that may strike the Earth in the future and which pose a threat to civilization. (See Tunguska Event, Berringer Crater, etc.)

2. To sustain the human species in the event of an internally caused impact event - i.e. The outbreak of a nuclear war may destroy life on earth, but if we have established an extraterrestrial civilization, the human species will continue.

3. To ensure the survival of the human species after the death of the sun - 4-5 billion years from now the sun will expand as it approaches burn out and will either burn away all life on Earth or leave the earth a frozen stone after it has burned out.

NASA's budget is only 1/20th the size of the military budget. I would support a 5% reduction of the military budget, to double the size of the NASA budget. I don't think it would hurt us as a nation or as a planet, to be a little less short-sighted and suspicious of other nations. We need to realize that in the long run, Earth Security supercedes and transcends National Security. Once all nations accept this, National Security will be obsolete.
 

AubieTurtle

Cyburbian
Messages
894
Points
21
There really are two questions here:

1) Is it worthwhile to increase the budget for NASA
2) What form should space exploration take

It is my understanding that manned space flight is several orders of magnitude more expensive than unmanned while producing inferior scientific value but lots of photo ops that elected officials and the public love.

I know some argue that manned space flight is better since you have humans who can fix things (and we've all seen unmanned probes fail spectacularly) but the majority of the technology on a manned space flight is there to keep the humans alive and comfortable. Given that you can get hundreds or more unmanned probes for the cost of a manned one, manned space flight for the most part seems wasteful.

Look at the cost of the Pathfinder missions to Mars [$265 million] versus the proposed cost (which you know in reality will end up being several times the proposed cost) of a manned mission to Mars [estimated at $400 billion back during the first Bush administration]. Will the information gained from the manned mission be so much greater than more advanced probes?

I think the main advantage of manned space flight and exploration is that it catches the public's imagination and thus is easier to gain support. But that doesn't change whether or not it is a better use of resources.

dobopoq said:
1. To sustain the human species in the event of an externally caused impact event - i.e. To develop the technology to detect, intercept, divert and or destroy Near Earth Objects that may strike the Earth in the future and which pose a threat to civilization. (See Tunguska Event, Berringer Crater, etc.)

2. To sustain the human species in the event of an internally caused impact event - i.e. The outbreak of a nuclear war may destroy life on earth, but if we have established an extraterrestrial civilization, the human species will continue.

3. To ensure the survival of the human species after the death of the sun - 4-5 billion years from now the sun will expand as it approaches burn out and will either burn away all life on Earth or leave the earth a frozen stone after it has burned out.
The first one seems like the only one we can do anything about. As for point number two, wouldn't the warring parties also wipe out each other's other world colonies? You don't want to destroy your enemy only to have his kin come back in a couple of years to kill you.

On point three, that's a very valid point but the ability to create a civilization outside the solor system is unbelievibly more difficult than putting a base on the moon or Mars (which wouldn't help for this scenario). Maybe someday we will have a better understanding of how the universe works and can send out settlers through wormholes or someother shortcut but as it stands now, it would seem almost as easy to alter the natural lifecycle of the sun as it would be to travel to another planetary system and start a new civilization.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
Honestly, the earth will get nocked by a rock when it's our time to go, and not a moment before.

For the cost of one shuttle launch they can fund Amtrak for a year.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
jordanb said:
For the cost of one shuttle launch they can fund Amtrak for a year.
And that's the reason why space exploration should be a multinational task... afterall it's a tool to help humanity (and in the case, save humanity) not just Americans. :p
Important internal programs and companies should be funded first. What's left should be assigned to international aid (first) and then space exploration.
 

dobopoq

Cyburbian
Messages
1,002
Points
21
Well, AubieTurtle, you're right - there is a huge difference between unmanned and manned space flight. The most immediate benefit that can be gained from space research is to expand the search for NEO's and develop techniques for diverting bollides - and this is of the unmanned variety.

It really comes down to a question of timescales. We've already created nuclear waste that will be problematic to mankind for hundreds of thousands of years - why not also devote some thought to developing positive things far in the future? If we want our society to endure beyond the scale of centuries, then shouldn't we be willing to invest maybe 5-10% of GDP in projects that will take several generations to bear fruit? One of the fundamental aspects of our democracy is the perpetual tranference of power in 2, 4, and 6 year cycles. But I don't think this should preclude embarking on projects whose benefit can only be realized long after the lifetime of the person who initiated it. A child has little concern for tommorow. Most adults have little concern beyond the next few weeks. Some will consider the timescale of a lifetime. And a few are willing to look beyond their own lifespan. If we want to evolve as a species, shouldn't we devote at least some of our brain power and resources to the achievement of technological goals that we know will not be feasible in our lifetime?

The solar sail that nerudite mentioned is a good idea. I also think development of a space elevator is possible and worthwhile. As far as cost goes jordanb, the argument I would use is: If we're going to allow alcohol and tobacco to be legal, then why not marijuana? i.e. If we're going to spend 1/4 to 1/2 of our GDP on the ability of our military to kill people, shouldn't we be willing to spend 1/20 to 1/10 of GDP on Space Exploration - manned or unmanned?

Ideally, NASA should merge with the ESA and the Chinese Space Agency etc., so that Space Exploration is a globally cooperative effort - international in scale as SkeLeton just said. Sort of a United Nations for Space Exploration. This way, the costs are most distributed, and the benefits are mutually shared. Over time, the money that nations waste on antagonistic infantile militarism, can be sublimated to cooperative global survival, as more is learned about the vastness beyond the blue sky that was all that we knew of the world until very recently.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
dobopoq said:
Well, AubieTurtle, you're right - there is a huge difference between unmanned and manned space flight. The most immediate benefit that can be gained from space research is to expand the search for NEO's and develop techniques for diverting bollides - and this is of the unmanned variety.
See, I'd think that the most immediate benefit of space exploration would be understanding dynamics of water (Europa), climate change (Mars), planet formation (the asteroid belt), geothermics (IO), atmospherics (Venus), or magnetism (Uranus).

That just comes from not getting one's ideas about space from playing Asteroids.

The vast majority of NASA's budget is consumed by programs that do none of those things. Sure, I'd love to see continued unmanned space exploration, but we could do that with a fraction of the money NASA now gets. In fact we could kill the worthless shuttle and space station, double the unmanned exploration budget, and still save billions every year.

It really comes down to a question of timescales. We've already created nuclear waste that will be problematic to mankind for hundreds of thousands of years - why not also devote some thought to developing positive things far in the future? If we want our society to endure beyond the scale of centuries, then shouldn't we be willing to invest maybe 5-10% of GDP in projects that will take several generations to bear fruit?
You just mentioned a fear about the death of the sun that is 5 Billion years off. Wouldn't it make much more sense, if we care about the future, to balance the budget, fix Social Security, or reduce chlorine emissions into the upper atmosphere (caused by the Shuttle's solid fuel boosters)? If we're going to concern ourselves with the death of the sun then perhaps we should also start spending public resources trying to find a solution to the heat death of the universe.

After all, in the game of life, the last species standing wins, right? Our purpose is to go for the duration, is it not? We, as a species aught to be like those people who are so concerned with cheating death that they spend their entire lives trying to live longer.

As far as cost goes jordanb, the argument I would use is: If we're going to allow alcohol and tobacco to be legal, then why not marijuana? i.e. If we're going to spend 1/4 to 1/2 of our GDP on the ability of our military to kill people, shouldn't we be willing to spend 1/20 to 1/10 of GDP on Space Exploration - manned or unmanned?
Well, in the first case, I'm against the obscene amounts of money wasted by this country on the military, and I'm against drug prohibition, so you're gonna have to come up with a different analogy.

Anyway, no, sorry, but "we're already wasting money on X, so there's no harm in wasting money on Y," just doesn't hold as a logical argument.

Over time, the money that nations waste on antagonistic infantile militarism, can be sublimated to cooperative global survival, as more is learned about the vastness beyond the blue sky that was all that we knew of the world until very recently.
Interestingly if the Nazis hadn't been so keen on coming up with foolproof ways to indiscriminately kill British civilians, there'd be no lift rockets and, consequently, no space exploration. (no, this isn’t a Godwin)
 

dobopoq

Cyburbian
Messages
1,002
Points
21
jordanb said:
See, I'd think that the most immediate benefit of space exploration would be understanding dynamics of water (Europa), climate change (Mars), planet formation (the asteroid belt), geothermics (IO), atmospherics (Venus), or magnetism (Uranus).....The vast majority of NASA's budget is consumed by programs that do none of those things. Sure, I'd love to see continued unmanned space exploration, but we could do that with a fraction of the money NASA now gets. In fact we could kill the worthless shuttle and space station, double the unmanned exploration budget, and still save billions every year..
I agree with you on this. I'm not saying give the green light to any form of Space Exploration. The merits of each project should be debated by the public.

If the bollide that caused the 1908 Tunguska Event occured today, it could level Tokyo or Manhattan if it hit in the right place. Such events are not that rare on the scale of centuries. With todays technology we could likely detect it, and probably deflect or destroy it in space. But we need to experiment with various techniques for intercepting NEO's.
Interestingly if the Nazis hadn't been so keen on coming up with foolproof ways to indiscriminately kill British civilians, there'd be no lift rockets and, consequently, no space exploration. (no, this isn’t a Godwin)
This is precisely the paradox. Why not direct these energies outward where they can be used as a means of propelling spacecraft, rather than as weapons against other nations?
 
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