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  1. #1
    Colonel s09119's Avatar
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    Default NASA and Space Exploration

    I was recently linked by a friend to a video on YouTube. Someone decided that NASA's inability to promote its work and space exploration at large to the public was a travesty. They thought that such programs were instrumental to the future of humanity, and that the space agency's failure to popularize them again was a major problem. So they produced this, using quite beautiful imagery, minimalist but moving music, and one of Carl Sagan's most famous and enduring quotations. To put it simply, the video moved me.

    So I think, our sci-fi love aside, we need to have a serious discussion. With all the problems on Earth, with all our poverty and war and famine and disease, is it necessary or even right to give greater funding to organizations like NASA? Or, on the flip side, knowing our species is quickly eclipsing our homeworld's ability to provide for us, is it imperative that we find new ways to explore and hopefully colonize the stars?
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  2. #2
    Major Ukko's Avatar
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    Default Re: NASA and Space Exploration

    I think it does deserve the funding. But on the other hand i dont believe its the soloution to our problems right now. Because i think (Im no expert) the ability to colonise space (Other worlds/stations etc) to the extent that it begins to ease our popuation and consumption of earths natural reasources is a long way off. I personaly believe it would take global effort to achieve something on that scale.


  3. #3
    Major General Cold Fuzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: NASA and Space Exploration

    I have always been a strong proponent of the advancement of science and space exploration. However, I think we're reaching a critical phase where our technology is greatly outpacing our humanity. We'd be fools to believe that space exploration is the key to solving all of our problems here. The technology isn't the problem. We ourselves are the problem, or more specifically our inability to get along with each other and our inability to properly manage the resources of our homeworld. If we can't get our collective act in gear here on Earth, we'll surely botch it if we go to the stars prematurely.


  4. #4
    Colonel General Jumper One's Avatar
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    Default Re: NASA and Space Exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Fuzz View Post
    I have always been a strong proponent of the advancement of science and space exploration. However, I think we're reaching a critical phase where our technology is greatly outpacing our humanity. We'd be fools to believe that space exploration is the key to solving all of our problems here. The technology isn't the problem. We ourselves are the problem, or more specifically our inability to get along with each other and our inability to properly manage the resources of our homeworld. If we can't get our collective act in gear here on Earth, we'll surely botch it if we go to the stars prematurely.
    That's why we will eventually have a WW III and then it will all change.

  5. #5
    Major General Cold Fuzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: NASA and Space Exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by General Jumper One View Post
    That's why we will eventually have a WW III and then it will all change.
    With over 70 million deaths in WWII, I think it's safe to say that it's in everybody's best interest to avoid another such conflict because another world war with our current level of technology would likely result in hundreds of millions of deaths.


  6. #6
    Colonel General Jumper One's Avatar
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    Default Re: NASA and Space Exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Fuzz View Post
    With over 70 million deaths in WWII, I think it's safe to say that it's in everybody's best interest to avoid another such conflict because another world war with our current level of technology would likely result in hundreds of millions of deaths.
    And the survivors would get along a lot more than the current population is.

  7. #7
    Major bradly08's Avatar
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    Default Re: NASA and Space Exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Fuzz View Post
    With over 70 million deaths in WWII, I think it's safe to say that it's in everybody's best interest to avoid another such conflict because another world war with our current level of technology would likely result in hundreds of millions of deaths.
    "If the Third World War is fought with nuclear weapons, the fourth will be fought with bows and arrows"

    This quote sums it up, it's not going to be hundreds of millions but billions. And the sad fact is i can already see us sliping towards that fateful war...

    "Oddly, this is familiar to you, as if it were from an old dream, but you can't exactly remember..."

  8. #8
    First Lieutenant Goose's Avatar
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    Default Re: NASA and Space Exploration

    As much as space travel fascinates and inspires me, it is ultimately not the solution to our problems. Science and exploration, trying to understand the Universe and what goes on in it is all very important, but not more important than what goes on here at home, on Earth.

  9. #9
    Major General Cold Fuzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: NASA and Space Exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by General Jumper One View Post
    And the survivors would get along a lot more than the current population is.
    So you want hundreds of millions or billions of deaths?


  10. #10
    Colonel Spimman's Avatar
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    Default Re: NASA and Space Exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by General Jumper One View Post
    That's why we will eventually have a WW III and then it will all change.
    Just like in the movies right? Don't be naive
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  11. #11
    Lieutenant Colonel jmoz's Avatar
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    Default Re: NASA and Space Exploration

    Don't have the technology to get very far regardless or withstand a prolonged level of radiation anyways. The best method is as Fuzz suggested, world needs to get together and become better cooperative beings that display that oh so superior intellect. Everything will result from that anyways. As certain societal issues go away, people are more able to focus on intellectual pursuits and one of them can be faster and more economical space ventures.

  12. #12
    Lieutenant Colonel SoulReaver's Avatar
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    Default Re: NASA and Space Exploration

    rats in a cage. the more rats, the more rage :|

  13. #13
    Lieutenant Colonel SF_and_Coffee's Avatar
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    Default Re: NASA and Space Exploration

    I'm kind of in Stephen Hawking's camp on this. While we desperately need to resolve our problems here on Earth, it is also imperative that we do at least something toward seeding our species elsewhere, in case we manage to screw things up so badly here that we guarantee our own demise. Between damage we've been doing to our climate and our environment, combined with the way we seem to foment conflict at every turn, and the fact that we do have nuclear weapons, we'd be foolhardy not to place at least a minimally-sufficient breeding population somewhere else as soon as we can manage to do so. Doesn't have to be extrasolar, either; we aren't far from being able to colonize a place like Mars or wherever else in the Solar system we can find adequate raw material to use as resources. Oxygen, water, basic minerals, carbon, energy from the sun... you can feed an artificially-devised ecology if you have these things. Okay, so maybe living in a dome would be weird, but it beats being extinct.

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  14. #14
    Colonel mad_gater's Avatar
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    Default Re: NASA and Space Exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Fuzz View Post
    With over 70 million deaths in WWII, I think it's safe to say that it's in everybody's best interest to avoid another such conflict because another world war with our current level of technology would likely result in hundreds of millions of deaths.
    I'd say that estimate is a bit generous....I think our weapons tech is such that a 3rd world war may well obliterate the whole world

  15. #15
    Lieutenant Colonel jmoz's Avatar
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    Default Re: NASA and Space Exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by SF_and_Coffee View Post
    Spoiler:
    I'm kind of in Stephen Hawking's camp on this. While we desperately need to resolve our problems here on Earth, it is also imperative that we do at least something toward seeding our species elsewhere, in case we manage to screw things up so badly here that we guarantee our own demise. Between damage we've been doing to our climate and our environment, combined with the way we seem to foment conflict at every turn, and the fact that we do have nuclear weapons, we'd be foolhardy not to place at least a minimally-sufficient breeding population somewhere else as soon as we can manage to do so. Doesn't have to be extrasolar, either; we aren't far from being able to colonize a place like Mars or wherever else in the Solar system we can find adequate raw material to use as resources. Oxygen, water, basic minerals, carbon, energy from the sun... you can feed an artificially-devised ecology if you have these things. Okay, so maybe living in a dome would be weird, but it beats being extinct.
    They can still be terrestrial and do that just fine with subterranean earth.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: NASA and Space Exploration

    They should be start working more closely with the ESA, which fortunately they are. The world needs a Mars mission IMO.

  17. #17
    Major Seastallion's Avatar
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    Default Re: NASA and Space Exploration

    I think NASA needs a serious reformation. For one, I agree with others, NASA has utterly failed to make itself relevant in the public consciousness and needs some serious PR work. It may seem like a low priority, but PR should be a bigger deal for NASA. The fickle public isn't going to support the Space Program if they don't continually promote themselves. We spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on things that are a total waste, so why can't we use some of that to refund NASA? NASA execs have often said they could do so much with the kind of funding some of the other government dept's get. If we spend about 400 Billion a year on defense, I wonder what NASA could do with a 100 Billion dollar a year budget?

    I think a part of the internal reorganization is a focus on more manned flights. I think NASA forgets that it isn't just about the science. It is also about adventure, and you can only do that with manned missions. Missions to the moon and to mars should only be a part of the goals of NASA. The appeal and glory of NASA isn't robotic exploration, it is the manned missions that inspire people. There is nothing wrong with using robotic probes for investigative missions, but they really should be followed up by manned missions.

    The other side of the coin of manned missions, ought to be an economic component. NASA needs to work towards the economic utilization of space. There is nothing like the ambition of making a buck, to motivate people to get into something. There are literally trillions of dollars worth of resources up there, and investing in our increased ability to reach and utilize those resources ought to be a priority. There is mining of asteroids, not to mention potential resources on Mars and the Moon.

    We might use some of those resources to build a larger infrastructure in space, such as large space stations and ships, with raw materials that wouldn't need to be brought up from the surface of Earth. The infrastructure would make our ability to utilize the Solar system easier and easier as it develops. A part of that infrastructure ought to also be more advanced earth-to-space technologies. I've always thought a rail launcher might be an excellent way to go. A large and long rail, could slowly build up the speed, possibly enough to even launch a manned craft into space without much rocket fuel. Kind of a reversed roll coaster. This personally reminds me a bit of the old scifi book about using a 'cannon type' launcher to send a craft to the moon. I think the concept may be sound, and it appeals to me because it seems feasible, it just needs a large initial financial investment. It would be similar to the building of the Hoover Dam.

    I believe we should work to make space a new economic frontier. I think space exploration could eventually pay for itself, if we used economic motivation for it. The ancient sailing explorers had economic motivation, and it served them well. We should use that same ideal in our approach to this new frontier of exploration.

    It will never be entirely easy, but it could get easier if we invest in the necessary infrastructure to get around up there. We have a large highway system that helps us get around in our country, so it stands to reason that a similar investment would improve our ability to get around in space too.



    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/technolog...tallaunch.html
    Last edited by Seastallion; December 20th, 2012 at 02:35 AM.
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  18. #18
    Major General
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    Default Re: NASA and Space Exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by General Jumper One View Post
    And the survivors would get along a lot more than the current population is.
    Just like after the first two World Wars!



    Quote Originally Posted by Seastallion View Post
    If we spend about 400 Billion a year on defense, I wonder what NASA could do with a 100 Billion dollar a year budget?
    The same thing any government run department would do.. Massive bonuses for those in charge.. gold plated coffee mugs, and they all get their own private jets

    ...And then what's left over will go into building a new rocket or something..

  19. #19
    General Starfist's Avatar
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    Default Re: NASA and Space Exploration

    I think any future space projects should be multi-national. That way any funding would come from the countries involved. Rather than any one agency. Co-operation is the key.
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  20. #20
    Major Seastallion's Avatar
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    Default Re: NASA and Space Exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by Starfist View Post
    I think any future space projects should be multi-national. That way any funding would come from the countries involved. Rather than any one agency. Co-operation is the key.
    I would have no problem with a multi-national effort, but right now there is very little will to do much of those sorts of things. It is why I've said that NASA seriously needs to work to inspire a new generation so that they will want to make that kind of effort. Right now, we're stuck with an indifferent attitude.
    The success or failure of your deeds, does not add up to the sum of your life. Your spirit cannot be weighed! Judge yourself by the intentions of your actions, and by the strength with which you faced the challenges that have stood in your way. The Universe is so vast, and we are so small, there is only truly one thing we can control; whether we are good or evil... -Oma Desala
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