Is it worth the cost? (the space program) - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-13-2005, 06:18 PM
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So the Shuttle Discovery is set to make another trip into space. While I do find it exciting that we are able to put fellow human beings into space and on the moon, I can't help but feel that it is also pretty wasteful of funds that could be better spent elsewhere. I read that it costs something like 400 million per mission. I've heard estimates of up to 1 billion per launch. And now with Bush wanting to explore Mars the funds pumped for this will be endless. I mean we could use that money to revamp education, revamp the prison system, help beef up homeland security without having to infringe on our constitutional rights, help ease poverty and famine in developing countries, I could go on.... I'm certainly not opposed to space exploration, I just think we need to prioritize a little better. My thought is that until we get things straightened out here on earth we shouldn't be spending billions on space exploration. What do you all think about this?



Also, has space exploration produced any real value to us thus far? If so, what? I'm curious.



Thanks,

S
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#2 Old 07-13-2005, 06:26 PM
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I can see your point. But I would rather see the funds going to space exploration than to the war industry, subsidizing dairy, beef and poultry farmers, GMO research, etc. I don't think it's a choice between killing the space program and feeding the poor... there are many areas where US funds are wasted.
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#3 Old 07-13-2005, 07:08 PM
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Next, we should blow up the moon.

Now that would be money well spent.
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#4 Old 07-13-2005, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by borealis View Post

I can see your point. But I would rather see the funds going to space exploration than to the war industry, subsidizing dairy, beef and poultry farmers, GMO research, etc. I don't think it's a choice between killing the space program and feeding the poor... there are many areas where US funds are wasted.

True. I just find space exploration in particular a bit wasteful because of all the issues we face here on earth. I suppose if we were to make a collective decision (would never happen, i know) to cut back on mission spending/postpone space exploration it would be done with the idea in mind of making the sacrifice for the betterment of mankind and use the money towards issues like the ones I listed. Wishful thinking I suppose....
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#5 Old 07-13-2005, 07:12 PM
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^^^Huh?
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#6 Old 07-13-2005, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by lauratiara View Post

Next, we should blow up the moon.

Now that would be money well spent.

Huh?
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#7 Old 07-13-2005, 07:18 PM
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Also, has space exploration produced any real value to us thus far? If so, what? I'm curious.



I believe it is imperative that we fund the sciences without asking for any return on our investment.
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#8 Old 07-13-2005, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by remilard View Post

I believe it is imperative that we fund the sciences without asking for any return on our investment.

I ask because I'm genuinely curious what knowledge/value we have gained from it.
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#9 Old 07-13-2005, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Satya View Post

I ask because I'm genuinely curious what knowledge/value we have gained from it.

Well, space travel could be useful for us one day, perhaps soon. If global warming continues steadily or advances its pace, we may need to evacuate the Earth. I know very little about space travel, and this isn't even my own opinion, it's one of my history teacher, but that could be important.
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#10 Old 07-13-2005, 08:10 PM
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>>Well, space travel could be useful for us one day, perhaps soon. If global warming continues steadily or advances its pace, we may need to evacuate the Earth.>>



I'm having trouble imagining a scenario in which a widespread evacuation would be feasible. On the other hand, we may at some point find it necessary to colonize elsewhere in order to survive as a species....

...I'm too lazy to google up specific scientific advances yielded via human travel into space thus far.



ebola
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#11 Old 07-13-2005, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Gnome Chomsky View Post

>>Well, space travel could be useful for us one day, perhaps soon. If global warming continues steadily or advances its pace, we may need to evacuate the Earth.>>



I'm having trouble imagining a scenario in which a widespread evacuation would be feasible. On the other hand, we may at some point find it necessary to colonize elsewhere in order to survive as a species....

...I'm too lazy to google up specific scientific advances yielded via human travel into space thus far.



ebola

I can't imagine it, either. Maybe I should ask that teacher about the prospect of one.
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#12 Old 07-13-2005, 08:16 PM
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Well, we wanted to beat the Soviets to the moon. We did. We wanted to go into space and bring stuff back and explore. We did. We proved we could.



I think it's time to shut the space program down. It's outlived its usefulness.

*this space not for sale*
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#13 Old 07-13-2005, 08:17 PM
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Well, we wanted to beat the Soviets to the moon. We did. We wanted to go into space and bring stuff back and explore. We did. We proved we could.



I think it's time to shut the space program down. It's outlived its usefulness.

Well, there are still several space related factors like the possibility of a disastrous asteroid/comet collision that need to be investigated.
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#14 Old 07-13-2005, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Pasta>Cruelty View Post

Well, there are still several space related factors like the possibility of a disastrous asteroid/comet collision that need to be investigated.



But couldn't a bunch of astronomers using powerful telescopes do that instead? They don't have to go into space, either. Just stay on the ground.

*this space not for sale*
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#15 Old 07-13-2005, 08:27 PM
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But couldn't a bunch of astronomers using powerful telescopes do that instead? They don't have to go into space, either. Just stay on the ground.

No, launching probes into space helps them understand the objects. They actaully landed a probe on an asteroid to study it.
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#16 Old 07-13-2005, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Gnome Chomsky View Post

...I'm too lazy to google up specific scientific advances yielded via human travel into space thus far.



ebola



space ice cream.



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#17 Old 07-13-2005, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Satya View Post

I ask because I'm genuinely curious what knowledge/value we have gained from it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:E...arp.750pix.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:PaleBlueDot.jpg

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/features.cfm?feature=555



the deep impact probe gives us experience in intercepting an asteroid or something which could strike earth (perhaps asteroid 1950da). there have been 6 mass extinctions in the history of life on earth. it is looking like there are few planets capable of supporting life and we've yet to receive a signal from another intelligent beings in the universe. this seems to confirm that life is a precious thing and worth protecting.



as for the space shuttle, it hasn't done what it was designed to do (make launches cheaper and with quicker turn around time) and I'd be surprised if it got off the drawing board without secretly having the capability to drop a dozen MIRVs on moscow from a routine overflight of peaceful intention (we're studying spider's web-making in microgravity ). but in spite of this I do believe space exploration has prevented wars and in the event of some asteroid it might be the most important thing human beings have done.

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#18 Old 07-13-2005, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by lauratiara View Post

Next, we should blow up the moon.

Now that would be money well spent.

that would solve our growing werewolf problem

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#19 Old 07-13-2005, 08:51 PM
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Well, I think that understanding more about the history of our solar system is a good thing.
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#20 Old 07-13-2005, 10:19 PM
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I agree with you Satya.
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#21 Old 07-13-2005, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Pasta>Cruelty View Post

Well, space travel could be useful for us one day, perhaps soon. If global warming continues steadily or advances its pace, we may need to evacuate the Earth. I know very little about space travel, and this isn't even my own opinion, it's one of my history teacher, but that could be important.

Well, how about we do what's necessary to reduce global warming and not have it be an issue rather than destroy our planet and have to flee our spent planet to another planet like some kind of spreading virus??



Honestly, I think Bush and most anti-env. repub's think like your teacher and that's why they aren't too concerned with env. issues. But at our rate we will have spent our resources long before we can migrate to another planet.
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#22 Old 07-13-2005, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by otomik View Post




the deep impact probe gives us experience in intercepting an asteroid or something which could strike earth (perhaps asteroid 1950da). there have been 6 mass extinctions in the history of life on earth. it is looking like there are few planets capable of supporting life and we've yet to receive a signal from another intelligent beings in the universe. this seems to confirm that life is a precious thing and worth protecting.

But if we were in imminent danger of an astroid the likes which could lead to our extinction, is there really anything we could do to prepare for it besides say our prayers?



Quote:
...I do believe space exploration has prevented wars and in the event of some asteroid it might be the most important thing human beings have done.

In what ways has it prevented wars? Just curious.
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#23 Old 07-13-2005, 11:37 PM
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Well, I think that understanding more about the history of our solar system is a good thing.

It is a good thing. I just think that there are more pressing issues that would be a better thing.
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#24 Old 07-14-2005, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Gnome Chomsky View Post

Well, space travel could be useful for us one day, perhaps soon. If global warming continues steadily or advances its pace, we may need to evacuate the Earth.



I think I've seen an upper high prediction for global warming at 6C in 2100. While it won't be nice for some parts of the planet, it isn't enough to wipe out human beings. (Parts of the world is likely to benefit: Canada and Russia would probably be able to increase the amount of farmland.)



Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnome Chomsky View Post


I'm having trouble imagining a scenario in which a widespread evacuation would be feasible. On the other hand, we may at some point find it necessary to colonize elsewhere in order to survive as a species....



Space elevators may make it feasible. We don't have the technology to build one, yet (we need to produce massive quantities of strong carbon nanotubes), and we can't prove that we will have the technology to build one (there are a few major problems left), but the concept shows promise.
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#25 Old 07-14-2005, 02:05 AM
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>>Space elevators may make it feasible.>>



Where would the elevator go?



ebola
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#26 Old 07-14-2005, 02:25 AM
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Gnome Chomsky is YOU ebola ?? name change ?
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#27 Old 07-14-2005, 02:32 AM
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But if we were in imminent danger of an astroid the likes which could lead to our extinction, is there really anything we could do to prepare for it besides say our prayers?

yes there are things we can do to prevent asteroid collisions.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Satya View Post

In what ways has it prevented wars? Just curious.

probably unprovable, us-soviet detente followed the apollo moon landing, the idea that showing pictures of a globe undivided by political boundaries does something to people, the advances in communication technology (again from space exploration).

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#28 Old 07-14-2005, 04:43 AM
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The space program has helped earth sciences by enabling us to view the Earth from space, seeing weather patterns, etc. In this, it has been hugely valuable.



Manned space travel in general I think is a waste of time and money, robots do a good job for much less money.





Oh, the idea of evacuating the Earth is just goofy. Evacuate 6.5 billion people - to where?



I agree there's work that could be done to avert asteroid collision, a much better use of military-type resources than blowing ourselves up.
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#29 Old 07-14-2005, 06:58 AM
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Gnome Chomsky is YOU ebola ?? name change ?

Yeah, he had a problem getting e-mail about a password change, so he made a new account.
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#30 Old 07-14-2005, 06:59 AM
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astronomy, and "space" research in general, i am fine with funding.



to some extent i agree with remiliard that we need not ask for a direct return on the investment. however, there needs to be some goals set just as there are for all research done in this country before you can get a grant.



as for the space shuttle: big fat waste of money, energy and lives.
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