General discussion


Bang Zoom to the Moon Alice!

By jkaras ·
Had to qoute the great one for this thread. Basically, I missed Bush's speech concerning the future space program. Apparently he made a list of long term plans for our space program that has come under some scrutiny over the time frame and proposed money. Many articles are being written at the outlandish plan. I'm not looking for a Bush Bash here, merly everyone's opinion on the validity and what we expect, all foreign opionions are welcome.

Personally, I am exstatic at a plan to future our endeavors at populating space and exploration. I feel that not only can it give us true understanding of life but also give us a backup plan when nature decides were the dinosuars. I know I will never experience space travel, which pisses me off, but it's better to be alive than not. I cant wait at the next space shuttle on looks and technology. I'm sure our deal with the aliens will finally be able to display some realllllly cool stuff, lol. I do not know what the true story or feasability but at least there is a plan for once. I am curious that when we go to the moon for the supposed second time will we see the base that was left from the module from take off or the flag that's been there? I hope I get to see at least the moon colonized but doubt it.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

A Noble National Goal

by maxwell edison In reply to Bang Zoom to the Moon Ali ...

"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish."
- President John F. Kennedy May 25, 1961

I have been a strong proponent of the space program ever since President Kennedy issued that challenge forty three years ago. I was 7 years old at the time, and I still remember the excitement of the space program, the growth of the Apollo project, and the thrill of being glued to our television set on July 20, 1969, watching as Neil Armstrong made that one small step for mankind. I remember the tears of pride in my father's eyes as we watched the realization of a noble national goal, a dream that seemed so impossible just eight years prior. I remember the many space launches throughout the 1960s that were setting the stage for that first small step, not as just another blast-off, but as events that captured the national interest to such a degree that everything stopped, or so it seemed, so we could all be a part of it, if only by being a witness to it. There were few events that interrupted our class work at our parochial school at the time, but the space launches were always a reason to roll a television set into the classroom so we could all watch the next step towards that one giant leap.

I didn't really understand the magnitude of it all until I was older and was able to comprehend the difficulty of such an undertaking. At the time President Kennedy issued that challenge, no one had any idea as to how it might be accomplished. Not even the experts at NASA had a plan for such a mission. To accomplish such a feat, and to bring it to its final realization within the planned timeframe, was nothing short of remarkable.

Regardless of the person in White House, regardless of the party in power, and regardless of any political considerations or consequences, I will support the continuance of the space program. We've only begun to scratch the surface of understanding the universe in which we live. The quest for knowledge and understanding has been the driving force in the advancement of mankind since the beginning of life itself, and the knowledge gained has always been worth the price that had to be paid. The continuance of the space program will be no exception. Yes, it will be expensive, but the knowledge and understanding gained as a result will repay that investment a thousand fold.

"It is vital to inspire young people to reach out further than they thought they could reach before. The inspiration of our young people is truly what the future is all about."
- Gene Cernan (The last person to step off the moon.)

A manned mission to Mars is the next step in the process. Regardless of the cost, regardless of the sacrifice, and regardless of the difficulty, the issuance of another noble national challenge is just what we need to carry on the ambitious leaps started by President Kennedy and the heroes of the Apollo project. It's a challenge long overdue, but a challenge we can all rise to meet.

"This is Gene and I'm on the surface and as I take man's last step from the surface, back home for some time to come - but we believe not too long into the future - I'd like to just say what I believe history will record. That America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow, and as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17."

- Gene Cernan December 14, 1972 (As he took that last step off the moon.)

Collapse -

Crackpot idea!

by djent In reply to Bang Zoom to the Moon Ali ...

This is nothing more then a way to divert attention from current political problems. The Iran debacal, no child left behind ( no program funded ), massive windfalls to the oil patch gang, pillage of social security and drug dependent seniors, more windfalls for the insurance industry, price protection for the drug Mfg's, massive unemployment and on and on. Having blown a $500 billion surplus and acruing a $500 billion deficit, we cannot afford Bush's grandious political ploy. The $12 billion cost estimate is transparently inadaquite by geometrical proportions. The case for it is thinner the WMD in Iraq and the hype surrounding it is absurd. We need jobs, a social security fund that is protected from pillage by every political hack, an affordable health care system, REAL drug benefits for seniors, food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, along with countless other social problems more worthy of attention. By comparison this proposal is yet another nipple ring for Kid Rock, just another slush fund conduit with dubious benefit to public at large.

Collapse -

by maxwell edison In reply to Crackpot idea!

Money spent on space program

Any money spent on the space program will all come back to benefit the U.S. economy. Just because a mission to Mars might initially seem out of this world, the dollars spent won't be left on the surface of the red planet. To the contrary, those dollars will benefit those living on the big blue marble instead.

You said, "We need jobs." Well, this will create more jobs, and they will be high-tech and higher paying jobs, some of which will benefit our very industry. Moreover, entire industries have been born as a result of the space program. Computer technology itself has advanced farther and faster than it would have without the space program. Structural analysis, originally created for spacecraft design, has been employed in a broad array of non-aerospace applications, such as the automobile industry, manufacture of machine tools, and hardware designs. The air quality industry was brought into the mainstream. Utilizing a NASA-developed, advanced analytical technique software package, an air quality monitor system was created, capable of separating the various gases in bulk smokestack exhaust streams and determining the amount of individual gases present within the stream for compliance with smokestack emission standards. Not to mention structural analysis, virtual reality, and the semi-conductor related industries, that have all benefited and grown as a result of the space program.

You mentioned an "affordable health care system." Why don't you consider the leaps in medical and biological technology that we've enjoyed because of the advancements in the space program up to now? MRI technology, breast cancer detection, arteriosclerosis detection, ultrasound scanners, the automatic insulin pump, portable x-ray device, invisible braces, dental arch wire, palate surgery technology, clean room apparel, implantable heart aid, bone analyzer, and cataract surgery tools were all spun off from the space program. You mentioned your desire for "real drug benefits for seniors". Well, how many seniors are alive today and benefiting from the heart pacemaker, a direct result of the space program? Perhaps your very own parents or grandparents are the beneficiaries of such developments.

You said that you would rather see the dollars go to "food for the hungry". Consider this. A microalgae-based, vegetable-like oil called Formulaid was developed from NASA-sponsored research on long duration space travel, and is used to enhance and improve baby formulas and baby food. NASA-developed municipal-size water treatment system for developing nations, called the Regenerable Biocide Delivery Unit, that uses iodine rather than chlorine to kill bacteria, are now in place all over the world.

How about the scratch resistant lenses in your glasses? Thank you NASA. More developments born of the space program include the dustbuster, shock-absorbing helmets, home security systems, smoke detectors, flat panel televisions, high-density batteries, trash compactors, food packaging and freeze-dried technology, cool sportswear, sports bras, hair styling appliances, fogless ski goggles, self-adjusting sunglasses, composite golf clubs, hang gliders, art preservation, and quartz crystal timing equipment, not to mention those new aerodynamic golf balls that let a hack like me play the game a little better.

The engine in your automobile lasts longer and runs more efficiently thanks to the advancements in engine lubricants developed by and for NASA, and the radial tire technology that came from the space program allows you to drive safer and get more life out of your tires. Interactive Multimedia Training (IMT), which was originally developed to train astronauts and space operations personnel, is now utilized by the commercial sector to train new employees and upgrade worker skills, using a computer system that engages all the senses, including text, video, animation, voice, sounds, and music. High pressure water-stripping is now used in the commercial airline industry, where the waterjet processing reduces coating removal time by 90 percent. Advancements in the welding torch, gasoline vapor recovery, self-locking fasteners, machine tool software, laser wire stripper, lubricant coating process, wireless communications, engine coatings, and engine design were are advanced thanks to the space program.

Improved aircraft engines, safer bridges, emission testing, airline wheelchairs, voice and breath controlled wheel-chairs, a practical electric car, auto design, methane-powered vehicles, windshear prediction, and aircraft design analysis, all thanks to NASA and the space program. Solar energy, fire resistant materials, and weather monitoring systems are all more advanced thanks to the space program. When you watch your weather reporter mention their doppler radar, you can thank the space program for saving scores of lives because of earlier warning of storms. Whale identification method, environmental analysis, noise abatement, pollution measuring devices, pollution control devices, smokestack monitor, radioactive leak detector, earthquake prediction system, sewage treatment, energy saving air conditioning, and air purification systems are all improved.

Do you use a cell phone? Do you watch satellite television? Do you use a microwave oven? Thank you NASA. I won't even mention the military and intelligence benefits. Spy satellites and the end of the cold war are not unrelated, you know.

You mentioned Kid Rock. Well, you can have him. It's time that our children have a role model to look up to other than the likes of him, a role model like the first astronauts to visit Mars.

Do you really think that, as you said, the benefits to the public are "dubious"? Open your eyes a little. And if you still disagree, pick up your cell phone, call the president yourself and let him know what you think.

Collapse -

by djent In reply to

You assert that research and development would not have happened but for the space program. Consider what advancements if space program funds were directly applied to research. My biggest problems are as follows A: motivation (political) B: timing (both political and financial) C: cost (unrealistic and misleading) priorities (there currently more pressing issues). I am not opposed to the space program but this proposal is nothing more then political rabbit pulled from the hat to divert attention from the pickpockets in the crowd. Do you think saving lives is a less worthy cause then collecting dust from Mars?

Collapse -

Funny thing about progress

by Oldefar In reply to

Most leaps in advancement seem to come from either from war or from an "impossible" challenge. I suspect this is because these bring together multiple disciplines, provide an initial common focal point, and provide funding.

Take some of your more pressing issues in your initial post as an example. Invested in housing for the homeless, we would see either a repeat of failed housing developments from the 60's or inefficient site built housing that the homeless would be unable to properly heat, cool, and maintain over time. As a fund to "solve" medicines for seniors, we would see subsidized purchases. None of this would advance these areas. No spin off industries would develope. As for investing in education programs, in the US local control issues rather than funding are the key obstacle.

Personally, I like the idea of a Manhattan Program approach to making fossil fuel obsolete, or making key elements of our infrastructure terrorist proof by shifting these to self contained home systems (power, water, sewage), but these lack the emotional drama and defining moment of landing on Mars. Look what happened to our lunar enthusiasm once the moon had footprints on it.

You can blame Bush or any and every other political figure, but I think it is human nature that keeps your agenda from being targeted. Drinking free bubble up and eating rainbow stew just doesn't hold much appeal to the majority of people.

Collapse -

Unfortantly you're correct here Oldefar

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Funny thing about progres ...

And I think this is more of an adverse inditment of our society than anything else that we rely on war and impossible obsticals more recently to make these quantum leaps in technology.

Just how much better off would we all be if there was far more pure research and not only research devoted to developing products? This is a dead end form of gaining knolledge and eventualy with the current Globilasition we are going to place ourselves on the scrap heap while the third world who has a far better idea on what should be done rapidly overtakes our developments. It is bad enpough that we already export the manfacturing technology to these places it does not take much imanigation to realise that these very same countries could rapidly outstrip our current leadership in this field.

Then where would we be?

It isn't worth thinking about is it?

Collapse -

pickpockets in the crowd

by maxwell edison In reply to

The only pickpockets in the crowd are those who take dollars from those who earned them, for the sole purpose of giving the dollars to those who didn't earn them. The only pickpockets in the crowd are those who want to expand the already overburdened, overused, and severely abused give-away programs disguised as social programs.

The money spent on the space program pales in comparison to the money stolen from the pockets of the wage earners so it could be given to those who don't believe in taking self-responsibility.

Yes, if it's a choice between giving my dollars for gathering dust from Mars, or giving it to some societal drop-out who chooses a life of irresponsibility over self-responsibility, and who chooses to fog his brain with booze and drugs, I'll take the dirt.

Collapse -

A One Trillion Dollar Perspective

by maxwell edison In reply to

The total cost of all federal assistance programs accounts for nearly one-half of all money spent by the federal government. That's DOUBLE the amount spent throughout the 1960s when the space program put a man on the moon.

Since the government will take (in the form of taxes) and spend 1.922 trillion dollars in fiscal year 2004, an increase from the 1.836 trillion in FY 2003, and since we can expect the same kind of increase in the years to come, the total cost of all federal assistance programs will exceed ONE TRILLION DOLLARS within a year or two. That's, $1,000,000,000,000 - one trillion dollars - in ONE YEAR. That astronomical amount is about $3,500 for every man, woman and child in the United States. As a comparison, 396 billion is spent on the military. But since not every man, woman and child in the U.S. is a wage earner and tax payer (In fact, many of them are tax-takers), the rest us pick up their tab as well, so the amount per wage earner is.........a wole bunch.

The federal government, on average, takes $3,500 from you and me just so they can give it to someone else who didn't earn it. The money proposed to be spent on the "new" space program, will cost a little over a hundred bucks apiece.

For some perspective on such a HUGE amount of money:

For 1 trillion dollars you could build a $75,000 house, place it on $5,000 worth of land, furnish it with $10,000 worth of furniture, put a $10,000 car in the garage, and give this to every family in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Colorado. Having done that you would still have enough money left to build a $10,000,000 Hospital and a $10,000,000 Library in each of the 250 cities and towns in that six state region. Having done that you would still have enough money left to build 500 schools at $10,000,000 each for the communities in that region. Having done that you would still have enough left of the original trillion dollars to put aside at 10% annual interest, enough money to pay a salary of $25,000 per year for 10,000 nurses and 10,000 teachers, and an annual cash allowance of $5,000 for every family in that six state region forever.

And consider this. That's just one trillion dollars per year. Next year, we could do those things AGAIN in some more states.

If you want to be outraged about something, you should at least be outraged about something significant, something like that ONE TRILLION DOLLAR give-away. (Of course, that wouldn't fall in line with your apparent political agenda.)

I'll make a deal with you, I'll personally kick in for your share of the space program, and you pick up my tab for the social programs.

Collapse -

Clarification and an alternative

by maxwell edison In reply to

I'm certainly not against helping those in need. To the contrary, our country is wealthy enough to do just that. But this notion of always throwing more money at a problem has proved to be not only faulty, but counter productive. The over abused social programs in America have done nothing but create dependent classes of people, and it's getting worse with each dollar thrown at it. It's time we stop merely treating the symptom of that ailment, and start implementing real solutions that will solve the underlying causes of the problems.

If you keep doing what you've been doing, you'll keep getting what you've been getting. And if we keep spending money on the symptoms of the problems, we'll just keep getting more and more of the same problems. How about doing something different, like teaching and expecting and help implement individual self-responsibility?

Then we can easily afford to go to Mars.......and beyond.

Collapse -

While I do agree with what you've said Max

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Clarification and an alte ...

The statistics are a bit off because that amount also doesn?t take into consideration the Public Servants and the Departments involved in these programs.

Most times these bureaucrats consume more of the funds than they hand out. So the end person who may or may not deserve help generally ends up getting the rough end of the pineapple shoved up their arse while those over paid and under worked bureaucrats just sit on their bums and rake in the money that was susposed to ?Cure? the problem but it is in their interests to maintain the existing problem if not enlarge it so that have a guarantied source of work.

Actually when was the last time that you ever heard of a Government Department willing downsizing?

While at the same time there are cutbacks to NASA who are then expected to maintain the same quality of service that they previously did with a far larger budget and workforce.

Related Discussions

Related Forums