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195Broadway
February 3rd, 2010, 12:52 PM
What are your thoughts? I'm not at all happy about this.

Zea mays
February 3rd, 2010, 02:07 PM
What are your thoughts? I'm not at all happy about this.
That has nothing to do with your living in Houston, does it?

I'm very happy about this. It should have been done years ago.

dtolman
February 3rd, 2010, 02:58 PM
Amputating all manned space would be a mistake - but it seems the budget is not doing that.

Instead LEO activities will be ceded to private companies (assuming the Dragon capsule becomes a reality, this won't be a mistake), while NASA will be tasked to do deep space missions or more risky stuff.

Personally - I always though back to the moon was a mistake, and they should have focused on more sellable firsts (like going to asteroids, visiting the moons of Mars, etc) - at least with the asteroid stuff, you can spin it as:
Mine Gold in Space! Space Dollars to Protect Earth from Killer Asteroids! etc etc

If this becomes a reality, I'm all for it. If this opens up more money for interesting missions like the Terrestial Planet Imager, I'm all for it.

If its just a back door way to kill NASA - well - FU Obama. Still wouldn't be a shock I guess. Hillary was the only candidate who gave a damn about space. Looking back, I think we'd all be better off with her as president - I'm sick of idealists in the oval office.

Give me back the days of effective pragmatists with questionable personal morals (Nixon, Clinton, etc).

Daquan13
February 3rd, 2010, 03:13 PM
They need to start addressing the many problems down here on earth.

Sending that ridiculous space shuttle up in space can wait! :mad:

dtolman
February 3rd, 2010, 04:00 PM
They need to start addressing the many problems down here on earth.

Sending that ridiculous space shuttle up in space can wait! :mad:

There is no tactful way of saying this... but that is idiotic. There will ALWAYS be problems in Earth. No amount of MONEY will fix problems here. At least money in space returns KNOWLEDGE - which is always useful.

Spending money on space is INVESTING in the future. Forget the hi tech jobs created, the research spawned, the usable products created, etc.

America was founded on the idea of progress. Its written right into our constitution. If we don't take the chances required to move into the future - it will pass us by. This is not hubris - this is history.

China used to be the research and engineering powerhouse of the world. 600 years ago at its height, it created a fleet of ships to sail the world, explore, and trade - not for the sake of immediate financial return, but for knowledge and expanding China's horizons. A space program for the ancient world.

30 years later a new Emperor came - and decided there was nothing worthwhile outside of China worth learning - whats more - China had problems closer to home. The huge fleet was left to rot in the harbor.

It fell to Europe to explore and push the boundaries - Europe: backwards, barbarian, inferior by any measurable quality except perhaps in their eagerness to get ahead. And they did - so much so that even mighty China was humiliated centuries later, as even the most minor naval powers of Europe could command their seas and shores with ease.

Space is already a strategic high ground - to give up any aspect of superiority there is to repeat the mistakes of the past. But we will reap the consequences this time in decades - not centuries.

195Broadway
February 3rd, 2010, 09:24 PM
That has nothing to do with your living in Houston, does it?

I'm very happy about this. It should have been done years ago.

Do I have concerns about how it will effect the Clear Lake area? sure. I'm not worried about The overall Houston economy though. We're in pretty good shape down here. Whatever happens, I think we will be ok.

I got hooked watching the Apollo program as a little kid. I think Nixon made a mistake when he cut it back then, and I hope O' reconsiders cutting it now.

Daquan13
February 4th, 2010, 05:09 AM
There is no tactful way of saying this... but that is idiotic. There will ALWAYS be problems in Earth. No amount of MONEY will fix problems here. At least money in space returns KNOWLEDGE - which is always useful.

Spending money on space is INVESTING in the future. Forget the hi tech jobs created, the research spawned, the usable products created, etc.

America was founded on the idea of progress. Its written right into our constitution. If we don't take the chances required to move into the future - it will pass us by. This is not hubris - this is history.

China used to be the research and engineering powerhouse of the world. 600 years ago at its height, it created a fleet of ships to sail the world, explore, and trade - not for the sake of immediate financial return, but for knowledge and expanding China's horizons. A space program for the ancient world.

30 years later a new Emperor came - and decided there was nothing worthwhile outside of China worth learning - whats more - China had problems closer to home. The huge fleet was left to rot in the harbor.

It fell to Europe to explore and push the boundaries - Europe: backwards, barbarian, inferior by any measurable quality except perhaps in their eagerness to get ahead. And they did - so much so that even mighty China was humiliated centuries later, as even the most minor naval powers of Europe could command their seas and shores with ease.

Space is already a strategic high ground - to give up any aspect of superiority there is to repeat the mistakes of the past. But we will reap the consequences this time in decades - not centuries.



You'd think otherwise if you thought of all of the wasteful things this does.

Though an astronaut's job is to explore space & science, it just seems a waste to me to keep on sending that thing to outer space. What are we gaining from it at all?

dtolman
February 4th, 2010, 07:16 AM
You'd think otherwise if you thought of all of the wasteful things this does.

Though an astronaut's job is to explore space & science, it just seems a waste to me to keep on sending that thing to outer space. What are we gaining from it at all?

What wasteful things? Do you have a problem with just manned space flight, or all of NASA in general?

At worst, it is a high tech jobs program that keeps tens of thousands of cutting edge industrial and technology jobs in the US.

That money isn't being sent into space - its going right back here.

Ninjahedge
February 4th, 2010, 08:03 AM
OK, here's the catch to all this talk you guys are doing.

How much is actually SPENT on NASA? What percentage of our budget goes to anything here? The main problem with budgets in a lot of these scenarios is that the money that needs to be reined in is NOT the research budget or the different solid project costs, but wasteful administrative costs and salaries.

Whenever we cut from these programs, we just say "OK, no soup for you!" and force the trimming or cancellation of many projects and other things that, when compared to executive salaries and other expenses, is actually quite small. the same happens with cops, and teachers, and other programs. We cut off the legs of all of them and let them keep their fat heads.

Reducing NASA will do NOTHING for our budget woes. Hell, eliminating it entirely is just a drop in the bucket. We focus on all the wrong things when it comes to science in this country.

Oh, I forgot, only geeks and evil geniuses are interested in science. All the cool people drive sports cars or wear Fedoras.

scumonkey
February 4th, 2010, 03:16 PM
Sending that ridiculous space shuttle up in space can wait! :mad:
That space shuttle had been scheduled to be moth balled- cuts or not ;)
There are only 4 more SS missions left (delivering back up parts to the almost complete ISS).:rolleyes:

ZippyTheChimp
February 4th, 2010, 03:40 PM
Oh, I forgot, only geeks and evil geniuses are interested in science. All the cool people drive sports cars or wear Fedoras.Cool scientists wear porkpies.
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_IoU3bEFUwWc/SfW7w9oCxdI/AAAAAAAAFaQ/wR0h0Abrl3w/s320/J.+Robert+Oppenheiner+And+Pork+Pie+Hat.jpg

Ninjahedge
February 4th, 2010, 03:54 PM
I never realized David Byrne was a scientist!!!!!

Daquan13
February 4th, 2010, 05:36 PM
What wasteful things? Do you have a problem with just manned space flight, or all of NASA in general?

At worst, it is a high tech jobs program that keeps tens of thousands of cutting edge industrial and technology jobs in the US.

That money isn't being sent into space - its going right back here.



One of my pet peeves is that I have a problem with the gov't in general, wasting up and monopolizing so much money, yet the country seems in dire straits and is embarrassingly in a sad state of affairs with the present finacial crisis.

Besides, I never was for the space shuttle. To me, it's just wasteful & pointless. :o

Zea mays
February 4th, 2010, 06:28 PM
You'd get more benefit from a Second Avenue subway than a spacewalk on an asteroid. The money is finite; we can't do everything.

scumonkey
February 4th, 2010, 07:21 PM
Just a bit of info for the small minded people that
think money spent on space is a waste:
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/space-exploration-benefits.html
Benefits of Space Exploration to Mankind
There are critics who disagree with the expenditure on space exploration, which they claim can better be used to solve earthly problems. However, they seem to forget that this is one of the fields which tests a man's intellect. But, how does a common man draw benefits of space exploration? The advances made in field of space exploration can be well used in other fields such as medicine, agriculture etc. The following is the list of benefits of space exploration to mankind:

Global Positioning System: The mankind depends on the sea trade for transportation of food grains, fossil fuels, metal ores etc. Global navigation (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/gps-navigation/) system, GPS helps in timely delivery of these essential goods by providing the ships with essential navigation information. The GNS services are made available using networks of satellites which also enables satellite Internet and satellite phones.
Weather Forecast and Agriculture: Gone are the days, when we used to take an umbrella with us while going out if there were black clouds in the sky. Now we can rely on the weather (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/weather/) reports updated on an hourly basis. The accurate weather forecast (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/weather-forecast/) is possible only because of the satellites in the space. The satellites also help us in predicting the crop yields, pest infestation and the area under cultivation.
Natural Calamities: It is easy to predict natural calamities such as floods, storms, tornadoes, hurricanes and to locate wildfires and their extent with the help of satellites (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/satellites/).
Minerals and Mining: Minerals buried deep under the Earth's surface can be located using satellites. Precious fossil fuels can be found with the help of satellites.
Electronics: The field of electronics and computers have also benefited from the space exploration. The astronauts (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/astronauts/) have manufactured miniature electronic parts that could only be produced in the space during their experiments in the space stations and space shuttles.
Asteroids: It is believed that an asteroid strike eliminated the dinosaurs on the Earth. One of the benefits of space exploration is that we know about the thousands of asteroids and we can also be vigilant about their "drifts". May be we could prevent 'dinosaurian death of mankind', if and when an asteroid (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/asteroids/) is positioned to repeat history. If it happens, it would be because of the knowledge which is the direct benefit of space exploration.
Energy Source: The scientists and researchers all over the world are attempting to harness the power of nuclear fusion. The process which enables the Sun to produce energy in abundance. It is believed that quantity of electricity generated using 1kg of hydrogen would be equivalent to that of 11,000 metric tons of coal.
Medicine: Another field to glean the benefits of the satellite exploration is that of medicine. Metal alloys that are manufactured to be used in spacecrafts and space shuttles are also used in the health care industry. Nitinol, an alloy is used to make braces. The miniature electronic components which were developed for the space program can be used in electronic pain-control device that some patients need to use. The implantable insulin pump is based on the mechanical robot arm developed for the Mars Voyager probe.

The space exploration benefits also encompasses the field of communication which needs no explanation. The applications of knowledge and the technologies, that are the outcome of the man's efforts to explore space, are making his life easier indeed!

lofter1
February 4th, 2010, 08:09 PM
Asteroids: It is believed that an asteroid strike eliminated the dinosaurs on the Earth. One of the benefits of space exploration is that we know about the thousands of asteroids and we can also be vigilant about their "drifts". May be we could prevent 'dinosaurian death of mankind', if and when an asteroid (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/asteroids/) is positioned to repeat history. If it happens, it would be because of the knowledge which is the direct benefit of space exploration.


ON February 2, 2010 it was reported (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2010/07/text/) that, for the first time, the Hubble apparently observed a distant collision:




Suspected Asteroid Collision Leaves Odd X-Pattern of Trailing Debris

WASHINGTON ó NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has observed a mysterious X-shaped debris pattern and trailing streamers of dust that suggest a head-on collision between two asteroids. Astronomers have long thought the asteroid belt is being ground down through collisions, but such a smashup has never been seen before.

Image (http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/02/03/article-1248163-08229F8E000005DC-66_634x491.jpg) from Hubble:

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/02/03/article-1248163-08229F8E000005DC-66_634x491.jpg

ablarc
February 4th, 2010, 08:48 PM
Haven't the Russians started a program to nuke an earth-bound asteroid out in space?

Zea mays
February 4th, 2010, 10:02 PM
Haven't the Russians started a program to nuke an earth-bound asteroid out in space?
It's about time the Russians or Chinese chipped in to help. They have probably more to lose than we do.

Ninjahedge
February 5th, 2010, 07:56 AM
It's about time the Russians or Chinese chipped in to help. They have probably more to lose than we do.

What the hell was that supposed to mean?

More to lose? Kind of a vague reference there ZM.

BTW, in response to your "why do we have to spend" original statement, I agree with Monkey. There are a LOT of products that got their start through the exploration, or PREPARATION for exploration of space.

If you do not spend money on research and exploration, you get stuck in a developmental rut, you do not find NEW ways to do anything, because there is no driving need. If you do not develop anything new, you do not progress.

Things that would help in space exploration, like better energy production and storage, superconductors and other things, would also help us here on earth. All that should be pushed for is more coordination between different research organizations. Unfortunately that usually ends up either with Coke getting a new can design or some place like Iran getting Nuclear capabilities instead of people just working together to help humanity at large.....

Anyway, point being, the money saved from something like that is miniscule compared to the cash wasted on unnecessary administration of too many portions of our lives. A scaling back of certain other expendatures could do more for the deficit than the outright elimination of NASA, and we would not see any significant change for us.

Problem is, it is hard to kick out the rule makers. It is hard to fire the boss.

dtolman
February 5th, 2010, 09:10 AM
Haven't the Russians started a program to nuke an earth-bound asteroid out in space?

Ironically - its actually about the worst thing you can do to deflect an asteroid - its effects are unpredictable.

Most modern proposals call for leaving a large mass near the asteroid - given a few years it will actually change the orbit enough to make it miss Earth.

With present technology - nukes included - we'd need at least 5-10 years warning to stop an incoming asteroid.

Ninjahedge
February 5th, 2010, 10:53 AM
Ironically - its actually about the worst thing you can do to deflect an asteroid - its effects are unpredictable.

Most modern proposals call for leaving a large mass near the asteroid - given a few years it will actually change the orbit enough to make it miss Earth.

With present technology - nukes included - we'd need at least 5-10 years warning to stop an incoming asteroid.

The best woudl be something akin to a solar powered engine of some sort. Maybe a drill that would mine from one side, then launch chunks out the other. The chunks would be small enough to burn up if any of them happened to come our way, but otherwise this would be something that would take some time.

A nuke? I would have to check my phusics on this one, but there is not a heck of a lot of mass associated with one of those, so it would not be able to change the course of the center of mass of a large object. I think the only thing you could do would be to use it to split the asteroid up and send its pieces in opposite directions (its center of mass would still be headed for earth, but the two halves, or however many sections, would just go around us....).

Things don't work quite the same way they do in the movies. Not many scriptwriters or directors ever did well in Physics.....

dtolman
February 5th, 2010, 01:48 PM
The best woudl be something akin to a solar powered engine of some sort. Maybe a drill that would mine from one side, then launch chunks out the other. The chunks would be small enough to burn up if any of them happened to come our way, but otherwise this would be something that would take some time.

A nuke? I would have to check my phusics on this one, but there is not a heck of a lot of mass associated with one of those, so it would not be able to change the course of the center of mass of a large object. I think the only thing you could do would be to use it to split the asteroid up and send its pieces in opposite directions (its center of mass would still be headed for earth, but the two halves, or however many sections, would just go around us....).

Things don't work quite the same way they do in the movies. Not many scriptwriters or directors ever did well in Physics.....

Yeah - nukes are pretty - but all you end up with is an asteroid with a hole in it. You need a lot of nukes to make a difference.

Engines might work better - but its expensive, and you need BIG ones to move an asteroid... or little ones running for years on end (ion drives?).

Thats why the "tractor beam" is so cool. The funny thing about gravity, is that putting a little rock near a big asteroid is enough to steer it around the Earth - just a steady little tug that goes on for years.... its like engines - but free.

195Broadway
February 5th, 2010, 03:06 PM
Guys, WAY too much tape on your glasses. We already have a proven solution for this....


http://epicepoch.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/bruce_willis_armageddon_002.jpg?w=228&h=350

NYatKNIGHT
February 5th, 2010, 03:11 PM
Because asteroids are all different sizes, have different density, and are made of different substances (we know this thanks to space exploration) some methods work better than others, depending on the asteroid. A nuke blown up next to a asteroid that is a loosely bound pile of rubble might make things worse, sending many different sized meteors toward the earth over a wider target. For icy asteroids, one proposal I found interesting is directing concentrated beams of sunlight to a point on its surface. As it heats up, itíll spew a plume of debris, essentially like a comet, or rocket. Given enough time that might help change its course.

As for NASA's budget, here's what the Planetary Society's position is:

After reviewing the budget, we believe the new plan encouraging government, private, and international partnerships will allow humans to go back to and beyond the Moon faster and more realistically. We also were heartened by the strong support to Earth and space science in the new budget, including the authorization to re-fly the Orbiting Carbon Observatory and the full funding of the robotic Mars program. We will be calling on Members of The Planetary Society to urge Congress to support and appropriate the necessary funds for the new plan.

http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00002328/