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Thread: Change of Focus of NASA

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trantor View Post
    The odds are 100% that at some future point, the Earth will be impacted by a comet or asteroid. It may not happen for thousands of years or it may happen this year.
    868 years
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ara Pacis View Post
    Yup, that's one that we know about. A pretty sizable rock. Who knows about the unknown ones, that are currently on the outskirts of the Solar System and may be perturbed into the Inner parts of the Solar System. It wouldn't take long for such on object to reach us, and we may not have a lot of time to come up with a defense plan; so our Space Programs better be fully operational and ready. Of course, there are also obects that may come in from outside the Solar System.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Platts View Post
    Hey High Jackers,

    "Once there was talk of NASA going back to the moon. That was under the previous president.

    What do people think? Is the current path NASA is heading the right one? I kind of remember hearing that Neil Armstrong did not like it but Buzz Aldren did. What do you think?"
    That's what i've been trying to get through to these guys. Let's talk about actually going to and returning to the moon! djellison posted many benefits of going into space, but not landing on the moon. After looking over his posted websites, i saw four benifits: the improvement of the athletic shoe, the invention of motion sensors for personal security, cordless vacum cleaners, and being the first to the moon helped the U.S. with foriegn policies.(ALL THE REST WERE BENIFITS OF GOING INTO SPACE) Now, William Thompson, if your asking if i think all the money and lives that it cost to get these four benifits were worth doing it again- I give a resounding NO.

  4. #34
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    Now in respect to the present corse of the space program, I believe they are trying to set up living quarters on Mars (in the long run). Personally I believe it's not needed, and the $ should be spent understanding and cleaning up the planet we live on. What's your opinion William?

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel View Post
    That's what i've been trying to get through to these guys. Let's talk about actually going to and returning to the moon! djellison posted many benefits of going into space, but not landing on the moon. After looking over his posted websites, i saw four benifits: the improvement of the athletic shoe, the invention of motion sensors for personal security, cordless vacum cleaners, and being the first to the moon helped the U.S. with foriegn policies.(ALL THE REST WERE BENIFITS OF GOING INTO SPACE) Now, William Thompson, if your asking if i think all the money and lives that it cost to get these four benifits were worth doing it again- I give a resounding NO.
    Rebel you do realize Warren Platts is a firm advocate of returning to the moon right?

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    Rebel you do realize Warren Platts is a firm advocate of returning to the moon right?
    Actually I agree with him to a point. If we're not going to the Moon, there's no reason for NASA at all. At least the HSF portion. ISS by itself isn't worth $9B/year.

    Thus, they could slash NASA's budget by half and still accomplish the same thing HSF-wise, which is basically nothing.

    That leaves the Science Mission Directorate. But even there, we're starting to enter the era of diminishing returns. The low-hanging, as in cheap, scientific fruit has already been picked. To dig deeper is going to cost a lot of money.

    And who cares about basic science anyways? What's the constituency for that? A few academics and amateur space dorks?

    So yeah, NASA needs to decide whether it wants to continue exist as an institution or not.

    Bottom Line: Go Big, or Go Home!

    EDIT:

    Mars? Forget about it....

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel View Post
    djellison posted many benefits of going into space, but not landing on the moon. After looking over his posted websites, i saw four benifits: the improvement of the athletic shoe, the invention of motion sensors for personal security, cordless vacum cleaners, and being the first to the moon helped the U.S. with foriegn policies.(ALL THE REST WERE BENIFITS OF GOING INTO SPACE)
    Your intentionally extracting things from a larger program to make an entirely false strawman to knockdown.

    ALL those benefits, the spin offs, the fiscal benefits - ALL of them - were a result of an 8 year concerted, concentrated, focused mission for NASA to put men on the moon.

    To extract the things directly associated within he specific act of men walking on the moon is entirely illogical. Landing on the moon made all those other things happen. It was the driving force behind them all.

    It is clear that you have an agenda, and will manipulate and cherry pick data to suit that agenda. As a matter of respect, you should probably stop wasting the time we've spent in bringing data and facts to the discussion that you know you'll be ignoring.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Platts View Post
    Hey High Jackers,

    "Once there was talk of NASA going back to the moon. That was under the previous president.

    What do people think? Is the current path NASA is heading the right one? I kind of remember hearing that Neil Armstrong did not like it but Buzz Aldren did. What do you think?"

    In light of cost overruns---and I attempt to draw some insight from the Apollo Program---Some of what I have heard of the Apollo's Inertial guidance systems took too long to develop and were hardwired into a "program" initially if I am not mistaken. MIT had (at the time) to develop a on the fly a way to get (first) Apollo 8 around the Dark Side without direct communication from the ground (Earth).

    Point being---the U.S. needed almost overdevelop their R/D for the Apollo Missions--and they (MIT--at the time was much behind schedule and probably running into cost overruns). In a sense maybe as a space faring civilization we might need to learn from past mistakes ---although this may sound counter intuitive---politicians as a rule---follow the money---and not necessarily what may always be in the best interests of their future constituents (our childrens' children).

  9. #39
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    Why go to the moon when we have people starving on Earth. Why manufacture dog pillows, fake flowers, holiday decorations and perfume when there are people starving on Earth.
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

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    Well, it seems that NASA/USA is well underway destroying any goodwill with ESA on joint missions, backing out of the Mars mission now (http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Sci...earch_999.html) after pulling out of EJSM, LISA and XEUS.
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  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel View Post
    ...i saw four benifits:...
    Then you didn't read and comprehend the links fully. There were a few others directly derived from lunar soil research. Besides; those are just items that are visible to the common person.


    Quote Originally Posted by rebel View Post
    .. and the $ should be spent understanding and cleaning up the planet we live on.
    Moon research did help understand our planet. There was science from the study of the lunar soil, lunar rocks, core samples, seismological research, and many others. A lot of that science has huge benefits to us indirectly.
    Quote Originally Posted by rebel View Post
    I believe they are trying to set up living quarters on Mars (in the long run).
    Now that's a leap of an assumption.
    Do you not understand how understanding mars helps us understand Earth? Mars was thought to be a lot like earth at one time. A lot of the evolution of Mars can be directly related to the livibility of life on Earth.

    And, are you going to apologize for insulting me, or even acknowledge the fact that you were wrong and making comments on baseless assumptions?

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by tusenfem View Post
    Well, it seems that NASA/USA is well underway destroying any goodwill with ESA on joint missions, backing out of the Mars mission now (http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Sci...earch_999.html) after pulling out of EJSM, LISA and XEUS.
    Thanks for those. EJSM itself was never actually beyond the formulation stage - LaPlace has not actually been selected - it is still a candidate, like JEO is. No one had started building anything, for example. Unlike with Mars 2016....contracts were in place here in the US for the instruments.

    LISA and Xeus - direct victims of the JWST overspend. And now Mars is as well with 2016.

    It's a travesty.

  13. #43
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    Theres also the minor detail that a significant portion of the money went to pay the wages and pensions of a hell of a lot of working people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeMcc View Post
    Theres also the minor detail that a significant portion of the money went to pay the wages and pensions of a hell of a lot of working people.
    The naysayers never seem to factor that into their equations; all those people who would lose their livelihoods if they got their way but I guess they don't count when you're so nobly trying to fix the planet.

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    Down that road goes the argument that NASA's just a jobs program.

    The argument needs to be made ( and it has, repeatedly ) that spending on NASA is worthwhile for the scientific, technological and economic benefits it brings. Not because of jobs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by djellison View Post
    Down that road goes the argument that NASA's just a jobs program.

    The argument needs to be made ( and it has, repeatedly ) that spending on NASA is worthwhile for the scientific, technological and economic benefits it brings. Not because of jobs.
    Absolutely, but it does have that nice side-effect too!

  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by djellison View Post
    Down that road goes the argument that NASA's just a jobs program.

    The argument needs to be made ( and it has, repeatedly ) that spending on NASA is worthwhile for the scientific, technological and economic benefits it brings. Not because of jobs.
    Oh absolutely but I'm just pointing out to that those who posit this idea of spending the money on 'fixing our problems on this planet' never seem to think through the human consequences of their actions. They behave as if NASA were some sort of monolithic entity instead of a organization made up of real people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tusenfem View Post
    Well, it seems that NASA/USA is well underway destroying any goodwill with ESA on joint missions, backing out of the Mars mission now (http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Sci...earch_999.html) after pulling out of EJSM, LISA and XEUS.
    This is a good point probably overlooked somewhat too, I understand and sympathise with the standpoint from an American point of view but it should be noted that these cuts are leaving a bitter taste in the mouths from a European standpoint and I'd wager any other nation that has or was planning joint ventures with NASA. There was a 200million Euro investment in Exo Mars already and the project is now in serious jeopardy unless the Russians want to come to the party and come big time.
    In total five joint projects have now been put in Jeopardy because of NASA cut backs and whether or not they were still in development or investment had already begun they all would of provided great scientific data and like it or not, jobs. Sure a couple of these projects may go ahead on a smaller scale and no doubt some will be scrapped all together, it's not very proffessional and I would think there are going to be serious questions raised before wanting to sign up to any further collaborations involving NASA.

    My family relies on an income from the European space industry and although it won't be affected directly by these cuts others will be and to further that any future opportunity to maybe be a part of these projects has suffered a huge blow.

    So basically right now goodwill between agencies the way I see it would be at an all time low, are the US really prepared to lose partners to the Russians or Chinese?
    I expect or maybe hope is a better word that there will be some fallout in the near future regarding these cuts. Not that I want ties to be cut irreversably but I'd like to see some leadership taken that didn't require it all to be gambled with an ever changing business partner.

  19. #49
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    Another reason we need to go to the moon and mars and space in general is so that we can establish manufacturing. Besides making some things that can't be made on Earth, we need to stop polluting the Earth with waste heat or else we risk making it uninhabitable in a few centuries.
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel View Post
    dido
    Is that like Ditto?

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ara Pacis View Post
    Another reason we need to go to the moon and mars and space in general is so that we can establish manufacturing. Besides making some things that can't be made on Earth, we need to stop polluting the Earth with waste heat or else we risk making it uninhabitable in a few centuries.
    I agree with that. The problem is that a lot of folks are happy with smaller rockets with small probes--and others would be just fine with LVs only used for weathersats, spysats, and comsats.

    The comsat market is the biggest prop for LVs right now, but fiber optics are finally beginning to link isolated communities together--gradually eroding that market. I don't think the conquest of space can survive being the slow-boiled frog.

    Right now, communication is expensive. Cable, internet, cell phone minutes, etc. A destabilizing influence coming out of the political occupy movement is this website: http://buythissatellite.org/

    I was thinking that a non-governmental type of persuasion might be for some of the occupy folks to get behind older activists with resources to threaten intel-providers with free satellite services with launches provided by Musk if they don't allocate X amount of money for other space efforts. The telecom giants would see potential profits shrink--but as it was, they were not going to invest any more in space than they had to--low-balling comsat LV firms to the lowest level.

    By actually threatening to devastate its own market--risky move, those folks employed by LV firms will thus be forced to find other non-comsat markets to service. Crony capitalism is the reality. People can rage against the SLS for example--but it is political popularity that can keep things alive even in the most dire of times. Corn ethanol, whatever.

    Market forces will only allow LV launches to stagnate as fiber optics begin their slow squeeze. By limiting, say, genetically engineered foods to off world use--foricing pollution off world--either by state or popular destabilizing forces such as buy this satellite--space will have the boost it needs to grow.

    As long as it is dominated by its telecom-blinders, space flight will wither.

  22. #52
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    It does not appear NASA is likely to do anything spectacular before 2020 even if we double the average NASA budget since 2000. Slight reduction to same amount for the NASA budget is likely optimum, long term, unless NASA can establish that they are quite useful. Perhaps increased funding of the private space companies will produce better spinoffs, and more science per dollar.
    Admittedly some things won't get done in this decade unless NASA does them, so we should not cut NASA funding more than about 2% per year. A long term commitment for NASA funding and less management by the President and Congress, might lead to better NASA performance. It does not appear that NASA is much better prepared to colonize the Moon, Mars nor asteroids than we were in 1975. More fooprints missions are mostly a waste of money and are likely to kill astronauts. Neil

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilzero View Post
    less management by the President and Congress
    That's all that's required. SLS is a $10's of billions pork project. It is strangling the entire agency.

  24. #54
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    A lot of the comments about "NASA losing its focus" have existed for many, many years -- including during the Apollo Program. NASA was the successor to NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) and the expanded acronym is "National Aeronautics and Space Administration"; it was a constant complaint among the aero community that NASA was neglecting its mission to advance the technology for flight within the atmosphere.

    Right now, the problem isn't so much that NASA is losing its focus; it's that NASA's budget is, in real terms, probably less than it was fifty years ago. Can NASA reshape itself for a new mission that will excite the public interest and get it gobs of money? Probably not; everybody's got their MTV and there is a very active anti-science movement in the US, so not only is there widespread apathy, but the people making the most noise and sending the largest bribes contributions to political candidates are actively hostile.
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    ...it was a constant complaint among the aero community that NASA was neglecting its mission to advance the technology for flight within the atmosphere. [...] it's that NASA's budget is, in real terms, probably less than it was fifty years ago.
    To eliminate the "probably", here's some statistics.
    http://www.nps.gov/nr/twhp/wwwlps/le.../101facts1.htm
    When NASA began operations in October of 1958, it absorbed into it the earlier National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics intact; its 8,000 employees, an annual budget of $100 million
    That's $745M in 2010 dollars.

    In the 2010 budget...
    http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/420990main_F...1_Feb_2010.pdf
    The single line item of Aeronautics research is $507M

    Yes; that's less, but I'm sure there's overlap in some other line items like education, management, and institutional investments that could bring that number back up to the same level as 1958.

    I think the problem is that the NASA budget is so much of a larger number than the NACA budget that the aerospace budget looks unimportant in the entire scope.

    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    everybody's got their MTV and there is a very active anti-science movement in the US, so not only is there widespread apathy, but the people making the most noise and sending the largest bribes contributions to political candidates are actively hostile.
    I see that too. And the latter is getting me worried.

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Probably not; everybody's got their MTV and there is a very active anti-science movement in the US, so not only is there widespread apathy, but the people making the most noise and sending the largest bribes contributions to political candidates are actively hostile.
    Less apathy and more antipathy, unfortunately.
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

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    Personally, going back to the moon doesn't excite me. I'd rather see the Gov. fund an exponential growth in the advancement of space probes, and send thousands of them out to study Mars, Venus, Titan, Enceladus, Europa etc. I'd also like to see us launch more and better satellites that study the cosmos. Once we have plastered our solar system with ten's of thousands of probes and satellites, and learned as much as we can about the surrounding planets and moons, the next step should be sending a manned mission to Mars. That's the direction I'd like to see the United States take the Space Program.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhole View Post
    Personally, going back to the moon doesn't excite me. I'd rather see the Gov. fund an exponential growth in the advancement of space probes, and send thousands of them out to study Mars, Venus, Titan, Enceladus, Europa etc. I'd also like to see us launch more and better satellites that study the cosmos. Once we have plastered our solar system with ten's of thousands of probes and satellites, and learned as much as we can about the surrounding planets and moons, the next step should be sending a manned mission to Mars. That's the direction I'd like to see the United States take the Space Program.
    As much as I like being hands on, robotics have replaced much of our work. They're cheaper and safer than a dive. Nevertheless, there remain things which a diver can do very easily but which are impossible for a robot. The number of those things is shrinking, though. I imagine the same is true for space exploration.

  29. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by djellison View Post
    That's all that's required. SLS is a $10's of billions pork project. It is strangling the entire agency.
    Quite the opposite--it is opening up the solar system with greater capability.

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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    Quite the opposite--it is opening up the solar system with greater capability.
    We can JUST afford to build it. We sure as heck can't afford to build it and have enough left over to USE it.

    Tell me - after we've spent $40B on it....where's the money to build any useful payload for it?

    Where's its purpose?

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