Does anyone long for the glory days?

By mastronaut ยท 44 replies
Mar 30, 2006
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  1. I grew up during the Apollo missions to the moon. What's your take on the current space program? Should we go back to the moon, or straight on to Mars, or just disband NASA and spend the money elsewhere? I believe we need to progress beyond low earth orbit and regain our prominence as the worlds leader in manned spaceflight again. Opinions?
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    That space program is a complete and utter waste of money.
    Just because some scientist wants to prove some dodgy theory, the government is pouring billions down a black hole!
    Instead they should use that money to get e.g. medicare off the ground and make it affordable for everyone.
    They'll have money to spare to invest in 'green' energy, so perhaps the USA should do something about their being the WORST polluters in the world?
  3. dIsCo_dEaTh

    dIsCo_dEaTh TS Rookie Posts: 17

    I agree with real that the money could probably be better used elsewhere, though dismanteling NASA should not be done, I think that more money should be raised by other means and not take so much from the tax money we pay. Earth right now and re-establishing this nation to the power it was after WW2 is and should be our main concern at this time. Sure outer space is great but when we have such a huge national debt and fighting a war, I dont think we should be giving much money at all to NASA just enough to keep the lights turned on and their research going, but until this country is better off, its best to not worry about Mars, it can take care of itself.

    -dIsCo :cool:
  4. bradthegreat

    bradthegreat TS Enthusiast Posts: 104

    unless there is some kind of missile defense thing going, flying around the earth picking up space dust seems a bit of a waste of tax money. I think NASA should be put on the back burner unless there is some really good reason for starting it up again. There are more pressing problems down here on earth that need worried about.
  5. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    i think with the "war" on the US's hands, the nasa programs should take a back seat. I love the idea of exploring the wonders of space, heck my grandfather worked at goddard for NASA.

    I think that China is the country to watch as far as pollution goes.
  6. mastronaut

    mastronaut TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 168

    Last time I checked, the average tax "burden" is something like 60 cents per American per year to fund NASA. You spend more on morning coffee yearly!
    I just think we should be going somewhere even if it's just back to the moon to mine helium3. That in itself could pretty much fund the program on its own.
    If it weren't for Apollo we'd still be using slide rules and an abacus instead of the powerful computers we take for granted today.
  7. Peddant

    Peddant TS Rookie Posts: 1,446

    If Christopher Columbus hadn`t got funding for exploration,this thread wouldn`t exist,or indeed 90% of Techspot.
  8. spartanslayer

    spartanslayer TS Rookie Posts: 394

    I believe we should go to the moon, disband medicare, and disband the department of education (which has nothing to do with public schools!). We need to explore more. Who knows what's out there, and NASA should be given proper funding, and weapons and military research!
  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    NASA needs to stay, we need to continue to strive for further and further goals, to just end it is just an absurd idea. Money is about the ONLY reason you can even attempt to argue against NASA.

    I also think trying to tie in pollution with a NASA argument is only looking for a fight. Don't do that RBS, this isn't the thread, and we've argued pollution rates before, its not near as simple as people that want to pick on the US think it is.
  10. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    I'd vote backburner. We'll only ever need or want to visit the moon or mars. And how would we EVER get to anything else in our lifetimes?

    If there is actually something to MINE, something to make useful back on earth, money should go to that end. But for the sake of "exploring", BAH! waste. How many 10s of years, or hundreds of years would it be to make it worth while, or affordable, for the average person to ever get a glimpse of space? The only people who ever benefit are the astronauts I guess. Unless you've got the thousands of bucks it takes for a low orbit weekend vacation!

    What good did it do us to land on the moon in the first place? Not computers, no doubt technology would have still gone forward regardless. So what good would it do us to land on Mars? Columbus didn't "discover" America, it was already quite populated. And no doubt would have still been inhabited, only maybe years later.
    The human race will still go on, will still survive, without our floating around in space and using up gazillions of gallons of fuel to shoot rockets in the air.

    I guess what I'm saying is, to the regular mud of the earth average joe, he'll never have contact with that side of things. And the greatest population is average joe and lower. So why bother? OOOO, AHHHH, for a day or two. Bye bye 150 billion dollars to float somebody in space for a day.

    Though I hear you can buy real estate on the moon pretty cheap right now!
  11. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966

    Vigilante, Lunar get aways
    I own 40 acres on the edge of a beautiful crater.
    If they had transporters, then why did they need a ship and not just a string of booster stations throughout the universe?
  12. Peddant

    Peddant TS Rookie Posts: 1,446

    And that`s just Arizona....:grinthumb
  13. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    I think it's time to send the kids to school...

    And after that, now that they've been brought up to speed on the history side, let's take a look at the mining prospects...

    If you complete those two readings before the class is over, you can have a look here for further information.

    And homework for tomorrow is a short summary of the positive and negative aspects of factories in space. For background info, use google, or take a look at Manufacturing and Fabrication on the moon, and Air pollution on the moon.

    And that was all we had time for today. Remember to do your homework. The best summaries will be awarded!
  14. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    lol Mr. G.

    Lets also not forget that Space travel, exploration, and obeservation is responsible for one hell of a lot of inventions that have since prooved useful here on earth for everyday applications. (much like F1, indycar and rally are responsible for everyday auto features and safety devices)
  15. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    MrG i haven't read your links yet but will do. Is the argument about NASA specifically or space or space exploration specifically?

    In some defence of NASA, they don't just do space, part of it's name is aeronautics and in the 50's and 60's major reasearch into SS flight and jet's in general. Second NASA doesn't just do space exploration. Take the shuttle for example (please!, just kidding), it's responsible for most very large satelite launches, the Hubble for example. Personnally I just love Hubble and think it's one the best projects to come from NASA.
    Overall the development of satelites for communication, military, global survey, weather, GPS etc evolved from the help and research of NASA.

    I think generally the desire to walk on another planet is strong in mankind even before Star Trek (plug of my name), Jules Vern for one. So it's natural for NASA to dream up a future mission to Mars. Is it worth the billions, no of course not. If it was done is it a little step towards a Star Trek like future for mankind? I would say a little step, but a step nonetheless.

  16. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    I'll check out the links to MrG. I'm quite fond of the universe, as it is a mirror of God's vastness and glory. A marvel to be studied NO DOUBT. And a wonder to behold.

    The things that have been mentioned, planes, research, technology, mining, or in other ways "useful" side of NASA and such research, is all fine and dandy. My peeve is with the millions of dumb dollars spent on nothing. Wasted time trying to find aliens, wasted time trying to see if a some planet a trillion light years away has growth. Wasted time finding out what a planet is made of on the edge or our galaxy. Waste waste. If it's not constructive to solve the problems we currently face, and our children and grandchildren will face even worse later on, then dump it.

    As our great grandchildren face a rising ocean and greater radiation from a depleting atmosphere, well at least we taught them what planet rcl-339's core temperature was. Very helpful to them surely in those days!

    Anyways, while I'm sure I'm "off" in my details, I think you get the point of my own thinking though.

    And let's never forget that our ancestors never had these things, get it out of mind that somehow these inventions are some kind of life saver. We would have got along just fine without them just as always. And also don't forget that this same research produces just as much BAD as good. Such as weaponry of course, missiles, nukes, poisons and other warfare. And now the big conspiracy is weather manipulation. Out there in space, some secret research to change the weather. Wouldn't be surprised, such as the weather this world is seeing lately.
    Or like when we first invaded overseas, and our troops were afraid of mines, then out of "nowhere", torrential rains like has never been seen before, pouring down for days, and uncovering the mines. Miracle? Weather manipulation?
    Fun stuff.
    And no more blabbing out of me, this isn't my topic. lol

  17. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    I agree with you Vig, the waste of billions $ on weapons R&D, when a great country like USA could make a real difference in this world with much cheaper technology like water purification, vaccines (not to imply the original R&D into the vaccine wasn't expensive), renewable energy resources and others is a shame.

    But I love basic research and let's face it some of the stuff you mentioned is just that, basic research (I'll abrev. to BR). Cosmology might seem like a useless BR right now but we all might be amazed when it proves certain mathimatical theories in Grand Unification Theories (GUTs).

    Faraday, Joules, Watt, Voltaire, Ampere were all doing BR on electrical & magnetic phenomenon, a few years later Maxwell came along and put it all together in a previously useless BR theory in mathematics called gauge and field theory. Voila! Electromagnetic field theory and the explaination of light waves, radio waves, gamma rays, infrared, UV and etc as all the same phenomena..electromagnetic wave. What would we do without this theory?

    I could go on for hours (not bragging, so could you) about the inventions that BR made happen: electricity and all things electrical, radio/TV, "LASERS", the gas filled pen (thks NASA), the TRANSISTOR (aaaah God bless the R&D scientist and their children that worked on that crazy BR project in the basement of Bell labs in the 50's)

    I guess my point is BR makes mankind what it is.. the most intelligent animal on this planet. Are we made in God's image? I think so or at least it's an honourable concept. Are we God's children? I think so or at least it's an honourable concept. Do we want our children to be as intelligent as we are?
    I think so and it's not just a concept.

    BR brings mankind closer to God. Knowledge and growth in our maturity to understand the differences in each other signifies our own personal growth from kids to adults. Is mankind any different? Are we growing up to be like our parents? God.

  18. spartanslayer

    spartanslayer TS Rookie Posts: 394

    I agree with you guys that God is the most important thing, but money is not being wasted on weapons research. Our troops are defending us, and they need the best we can give them. By spending those billions on weapons, we are saving American lives. I agree that research into medicine is good, but if all the sick people want to kill us, medicine is not much good!
  19. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966

    Seek the singularity and you will find 1 :angel: ............................................or 2 :evil: ?

    The "Oblisk" was mearly a deflector and became a point of worship.

    Kirok was a childhood hero of mine!
  20. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    SOcRatEs: Duality is really a trinity. Hint: Electron, Proton and Neutron.

    " I know therefore I am"; Descarte
    "I know that I know nothing"; Confucious
    A duality of thought? What is the third point of view?
  21. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966

    Your truth, My truth and THE truth :haha:

    Closer to my reality, I'll refer to the pic of the "Vinegar Tasters" it's a link
  22. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    My post is mostly about the universe as such, but the first link shows the "by-products" of NASA...

    As for the BR, researching far away stars teaches us how the universes is evolving, and how our solar system can progress. You talk about a diminishing atmosphere, but what if that is (partially) due to a shift in the magnetic poles, which creates gaps in our magnetic shield? By studying other planets, and this one, we can get a greater understanding of what is going on, and then see if there is anything we can do to protect us from the problems arising from it.

    And as Kirock points out, BR does give returns. Just because we can not see exactly what's to come out of it today, doesn't mean there isn't any use for it. It's just that our imagination and knowledge is too limited to see the potential.

    Wrt. "since our ancestors didn't have it, it can't be life saving" is, I'm sorry, wrong. Medical imaging has done a lot to save lives. Research done in conjection with the space programme (or just BR) has had a huge impact on our lives. Take the suits the firefighters use as an example where tech from the space programme is saving lives.

    Just a warning, though somewhat late, wrt to the links. Some of them, especially the one about manufacturing, are very long texts with a lot of technical detail. But just skim over what strikes your fancy. The point of them were just to show an infinitesimal part of what opportunities that space presents.

    Lastly, before I run to a lecture, if you're arguing for dismantling the space programme, think about all the movies made about an asteroid hitting earth. It could very well happen (there are new near-earth objects begin discovered every year that can be dangerous to us), and it's not guarantied that Bruce Willis will be there to save us, if there's no programme to get him up there....
  23. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966

    Without NaSa and the world space programs, we would never know magnetic pole reversals have happened before and not just + to - and back but a break up into multi poles, up to 8 I think I remember. Lava flows gave us proof and how but the space progam gave us the what.
    I was just thinking about why our atmosphere rotates with us instead of knocking us down. Spin a ball in an air filled sealed Sphere the air surrounding the ball will not behave the same as our biosphere.
  24. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    I would say this is because we, the air and the surface of the planet are all moving at the same speed. Except of course for the convectional air currents created by the local star's electromagnetic radiation, specifically infrared. The atmosphere of our planet is as much gravitationally held in place as we are, otherwise it would drift away into space. This is why Mercury, Pluto and the large moons of the solar system do not have atmospheres (some have trace ones), they are too small and thus their G pull is not strong enough to hold their out gasing in place.

    There is different sizes of infinity. "Umm, I'll have the large" :p
  25. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    Did I just witness people saying nasa sucks, and then all the sudden change their view because MrG stepped in?

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