Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.
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?
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!
Mars? Forget about it....
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.
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).
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.
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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New blog 28-07-2013: Summer School Alpbach 2013: "Space Weather: Science, Missions and Systems"
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?
LISA and Xeus - direct victims of the JWST overspend. And now Mars is as well with 2016.
It's a travesty.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
bribescontributions to political candidates are actively hostile.
That's $745M in 2010 dollars.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
In the 2010 budget...
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.
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.