• 01-09-2004, 07:57 AM
    Space......... still a frontier?
    Looks like Bush is ready to go to Mars! What do you guys think of the President's plan for space exploration in the future? Here's a link that gives a basic summary of his plan.


    Do you think space exploration is worthwhile?

    I like the plan in general. Can't comment of specific components of the plan but in general I like what it wants to do. I am all for going back to the moon and maybe Mars. In terms of Technology/Medicine, I think it would be worthwhile. In terms of national pride, I think it would do a lot of this country. I think this country needs to get some excitement back. I am too young to remember going to the moon but it was a time of national pride, competition, and excitement. I remember being glued to the TV when the first shuttle launched. Do they even have TV coverage any more for liftoffs?

    I am one of those people who thinks it's naive to think we are the only life in this universe. It's too big. If we are here, others could be out there. However, I think 99 to 100% of the UFO stuff is crap. But who knows.

    I just think it would be good for our country. We need something positive to look forward to and to get excited about.

  • 01-09-2004, 08:26 AM
    I didn't read the link...
    but in general, I like the idea of space exploration for the reasons you point out, JSE - technology and medicine. It's anyone's guess what's out there that can help us cure cancers and AIDS or even SARS or Mad Cow or Diabetes or whatever ails us.

    From the technology standpoint, I like the military technology this helps us to develop. Until world peace becomes a reality, our way of life needs to be protected. Many in the world see the US as using its might to gain advantages throughout the world. We gain what advantages we can, but so does every other nation. At least to an extent, I see us using our might not only for our own good, but the good of the rest of the world. What would happen if that pimple on a camel's anus Bin Laden or Hussein or Qadaffi had the technology we do? I imagine "Terminator" without the Machines.

    Unfortunately, the world now has weapons which allow a small group of people to control nations. As long as our military remains strong, the world is a better place IMO.
  • 01-09-2004, 08:50 AM
    Jimmy C
    Once all of the natural resources...
    ...are used up on earth, or the ozone is depleted, we will need a place to live. Not in my lifetime, but eventually it will happen.

    Not to mention the population explosion... we had better get VERY familiar with our celestial neighbors!
  • 01-10-2004, 07:30 PM
    Don't look now JSE, but the Republican rhetoric has fogged your brain! Talk about a puzzlement wrapped up in an enigma - how can anyone swallow the nonsense that you can call yourself conservative and turn right around and spend more money than the Democrats ever heard of!

    We're already deeper in the deficit doo-doo than ever before in the nation's history, and they'll be gallons of more "red ink" before we're through in Iraq, and we have a president talking about spending literally HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of BILLIONS on an excercise of such little real consequence that it just boggles the mind!

    Granted that we learn things by exploring space, but what we gain is pretty damned small and inconsequential when weighed against the cost of such ventures.

    This whole prouncement of a new, exciting space program is nothing more than politicking by someone desparate to prove himself one term better than his father, by getting re-elected next November. If he has a single solitary brain-cell (a debatable issue going in), I'm sure he realizes that we cannot spend all of that money on space exploration until and unless we can get rid of the already HUGE deficit.

    Gimme a break - in fact, give the entire country a break! Vote this idiot out of office come Nov. Anyone would be better for the country than GWBushie - and I include Al Sharpton! And Dennis Kucinich - and Carol Mosely Braun.

    Merry Cristmas to all
  • 01-11-2004, 09:38 AM
    space is the place...

    Originally Posted by woodman
    Granted that we learn things by exploring space, but what we gain is pretty damned small and inconsequential when weighed against the cost of such ventures.

    I agree that the space program helped spur research and technical advances in electronics (computers) and medicine, et al, but it's not clear how much those things would have progressed naturally without it. But I also disagree that such advancement is "damned small" for it's cost... how can anyone do a rational cost analysis of anything that vast and complex. And how do you put a "cost" on something that's a technological advancement that saves or extends millions of lives in medical spinoffs alone?

    I DO think the government should (generally) stay out of such things. (I'm libertarian) We have enough problems from the government in bed with private military enterprises (the difference is that the constitution prescribes expenses to provide defense). The graft, waste and corruption from that is bad enough. Part of the reason for this proposal is the jobs it would expand, especially in states like TX & FL...LOL.

    However... the primary reason this was proposed was because the Chinese are about to surpass us in space exploration... at least that's the way it's headed if we don't change our own space program. If we fall behind technologically over the next 50 years, we'll then fall behind economically and in other ways. The Chinese are really expanding exponentially as they finally enter the free world. It's our scientific/technological superiority that's made America the leader and best place to live over the past 150 years. It's NOT the government that did that, although the gov did provide the free-market freedom that allowed technology to flourish. Could the Chinese surpass us down the road? Who knows, but it's possible I guess. The fact that our government is concerned about it this much shows how scared certain people are.... you didn't see the government concerned about terrorism until 9-11, even though we'd received plenty of warnings for 2 decades. Our government usually reacts AFTER the sh_t hits the fan, just like most people do in their daily lives. We rarely plan ahead. But who knows if this is worthy of the expense right now. I'm not sold yet myself.

    Jimmy... you're obviously a Bush hater (fine), but you lose credibility when you make that Sharpton, Kucinich, and Braun comment. I've watched all on C-SPAN, and it's sad people like that get (that far) in politics... they're all morons. At least Sharpton is funny and Braun is well-intentioned and well spoken. On the other hand Kucinich was a joke in Cleveland, and his proposed "policies" are idiocy of the highest degree. I'm no Bush fan myself, but the left doesn't have the backbone to debate his views on issues... they offer no real alternative policies... instead they call him names like "stupid". That's grade school politics. It shows the real vacuum of ideas in the democratic party. Why don't they offer a policy to fix the upcoming meltdown in the social security program? Naah... much easier to call names than offer real leadership. Much easier to say "the sky is falling... kill the king".

    I've listened to a few of the dems who know & actually worked with Bush in Texas (unlike most of the media... and you... LOL)... they think he's quite smart, informed and savy. I'll agree his public speaking style makes him appear a dunce, but I don't think most CEO's and other non-politicians would look good in that artificial medium (TV). We shouldn't rely on looks and commercial appeal, but we do. The dems said the same things (stupid) about Reagan. Go read his recently compiled diaries and then tell me he had no vision or understanding with a straight face. You still might not like him, but he was no frickin dummy.

    Back to space... and the mantra (implied reason to do it) of "discovering new civilizations." That general public fantasy is the result of too many Star Trek shows. It's crapola. A base appeal to our human spiritual emotions and silly egos. There are, and have been, millions of other civilizations out there. The problem is... anything outside our galaxy is beyond any way to detect, much less benefit from (that's 99.99% of the universe out of reach, for starters). Even within our galaxy, distances are so great that making (meaningful) contact with any would be extremely hard. But even more limiting than the distance-factor is the time-factor... there may have been millions of civilizations within our neck of the Milky Way already, but most cold already be dead and gone [i]at this exact time in history[i/]. We'll be dead & gone within a million years too (a wild confident, yet unsubstantiated guess by me... LOL), yet a million years is but a tiny sliver of time when you look at all the life cycles of stars, systems and planets in our galaxy alone. The size and time involved in contemplating our REAL universe, let alone our tiny neigborhood of a piece of it, is outside of human comprehension, for the most part. We only view reality from our limited vantage point. Imagine the vantage point of a tiny bacteria inside your large intestine... with a lifetime of 4 hours... and compare that to Mt Everest, halfway around the globe, and millions of years old, and lots bigger. The bacterium has NO CLUE about Everest, what it signifies, where it is, or any ability to interact with it... trust me. But our human egos get in the way of reality all the time. We're NOT the center of the universe... trust me. LOL.
  • 01-11-2004, 06:33 PM
    Some people have wanted to go to Mars for...
    ...a long time. Sagan, Heinlein, Bradbury, various writers and scientists have been pushing for years to go to Mars. I've read some of their articles. Now, this is just me, but I suspect that they may KNOW something, that there is something on that planet they want. Richard Hoagland may suspect too...

  • 01-12-2004, 08:12 AM

    Ouch! A little grumpy huh?

    Your response is exactly why I think it's a good idea. We need something to look foward to and raise our sense of national pride instead of all this political name calling and attacks.

    "Don't look now JSE, but the Republican rhetoric has fogged your brain! Talk about a puzzlement wrapped up in an enigma - how can anyone swallow the nonsense that you can call yourself conservative and turn right around and spend more money than the Democrats ever heard of!"

    My brain is fogged? OK? :confused:

    So are you against a new revamped space program with new goals such as the President has laid out? I am not sure you answered that between all the personal attacks, liberal rhetoric, Bush slamming and name calling. It was not a politacl post. I was wondering what people thought about space exploration and the new proposed plan. Hell, trollgirl even kept the Liberal vs. Conservative rhetoric out. I could just be reading to much into it though. You know, with my fogged brain and all. :p

  • 01-12-2004, 10:10 AM
    One question!
    Where is the money going to come from?
  • 01-14-2004, 07:11 AM
    piece-it pete
    1 Attachment(s)
    Nasa = better Audio??? Directly?
    Yes!! Or at least possibly :)!

    1st, consider that for each pound saved on the flying weight of the shuttle NASA earns more than $30,000.00 in payload. 30 large per pound!!!

    It's hard to get my brain around the implications. If they spend $25,000 to reduce weight by 1 pound they still gain $5,000!!

    Enter beryllium (Be). Stiffer than titanium & lighter than aluminum, Be research has great potential as a "space-age" (literally) material.

    Due to the cost savings possible, NASA research has done a lot with this material, and it has trickled down to a consumer product, namely, Be voice coils &, more interestingly, extremely stiff Be composite woofer cones.

    Thanks, NASA!!

    When you consider that this (material development) is only one small sliver of the scope of the whole space mission (electronics, medicine, fuel, education, a thousand things I can't think of) you start to get an idea of the true benifit of the space program, not even including the psychological lift from exploring the final frontier.

    Not to mention money. I read a series of articles years ago that calculated an estimated 1 to 1000 return economywide from the moon shot. That is the best return I ever heard of!

    One more thing: the incredible weath of the solar system. Mining the asteroid belt alone is worth more than we can imagine!

    This is no pipe dream. The shuttle would work fine. We need fuel! Finish a fusion drive (far from fantasy), fit it to the shuttle, and start tossing heavy metal (groan:) asteriods into Earth orbit, where it can be mined, possibly processed (they know we can make superstrong, superlight alloys in a zero gravity enviroment), and drop it back (down) here.

    I want to repeat, this is no fantasy. Fusion = incredible wealth. A side benifit of fusion would be cheap power at home. So, who here will reap this wealth? The free world?

    And who knows. Maybe we'll get awesome speakers :).


    The great hope of mankind :)? :