6
   

Vice President Heads for Moon

 
 
maporsche
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 10:49 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon, this is what you said.

Quote:
Please tell me the profit in developing the ability to travel to more and more stars, settling dozens of worlds, meeting other intelligences, and learning wondrous things we can't imagine now.


THESE things are the reasons you gave. And as you later said:

Quote:
Anything approaching interstellar capable propulsion is utterly beyond our capability. It takes us months to get to Mars even at its closest approach. At closest approach, Mars is 35 million miles away. The nearest solar system to ours is the Alpha Centauri system. It is 4.3 light years away, and a light year is 5.9 trillion miles.


To realize the benefits you cited as the reasons we should be investing in manned spaceflight, you're admitting is "utterly beyond our capability".

If you think there are more short term, or even long term (say, w/in our lifetimes) benefits to manned space travel, then great (and I 100% agree, I think space flight, especially manned, should be funded fully), but you haven't laid those out.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 12:22 am
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:
In what way? Nothing but monetary profit in the near term has real value?

If you suggest that we do it just for the heck of it, go ahead and start up a foundation to fund it. I have nothing against this kind of thing if voluntary donors pay for it. But if the government is to extract tangible tax dollars from its citizens, it better demonstrate that they'll get tangible benefits out of the project. Or at least a reasonable probability of such benefits.

Edit: Just to be clear: Scientific progress does count as a tangible benefit for me. But my sense is that putting people in space will bring you a lesser amount of scientific progress for the same money. And postcards of astronauts in space are of insufficient tangible benefit to justify the extra expense.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 06:05 am
@maporsche,
maporsche wrote:

Brandon, this is what you said.

Quote:
Please tell me the profit in developing the ability to travel to more and more stars, settling dozens of worlds, meeting other intelligences, and learning wondrous things we can't imagine now.


THESE things are the reasons you gave. And as you later said:

Quote:
Anything approaching interstellar capable propulsion is utterly beyond our capability. It takes us months to get to Mars even at its closest approach. At closest approach, Mars is 35 million miles away. The nearest solar system to ours is the Alpha Centauri system. It is 4.3 light years away, and a light year is 5.9 trillion miles.


To realize the benefits you cited as the reasons we should be investing in manned spaceflight, you're admitting is "utterly beyond our capability".

If you think there are more short term, or even long term (say, w/in our lifetimes) benefits to manned space travel, then great (and I 100% agree, I think space flight, especially manned, should be funded fully), but you haven't laid those out.

Oh, I see. Well, the point is that the benefits would be large beyond comprehension, but the really important ones would be long term and require great improvements to what we can do now. I mean, what was the benefit to Man of leaving sub-Saharan Africa and occupying the rest of the Earth, as opposed to just staying in that one little chunk of Africa? Pretty large, I think. To me, thats a no-brainer, and the conclusion is: time to get busy. However, there would be short term benefits, and many would even involve money, which seems to be the only thing many people here can understand. One would be mining. Also, in a completely different line of thought, it seems to me that it would be nice to have a nucleus of humanity survive if something bad happened to the Earth, such as, for instance, a collision by a large meteor.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 06:10 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Brandon9000 wrote:
In what way? Nothing but monetary profit in the near term has real value?

If you suggest that we do it just for the heck of it, go ahead and start up a foundation to fund it. I have nothing against this kind of thing if voluntary donors pay for it. But if the government is to extract tangible tax dollars from its citizens, it better demonstrate that they'll get tangible benefits out of the project. Or at least a reasonable probability of such benefits.

Edit: Just to be clear: Scientific progress does count as a tangible benefit for me. But my sense is that putting people in space will bring you a lesser amount of scientific progress for the same money. And postcards of astronauts in space are of insufficient tangible benefit to justify the extra expense.

What about the benefit of mankind someday occupying multiple solar systems with more being added every year, meeting other intelligences, and learning amazing things we can't predict now? You persist in acting as though the really long term benefits didn't exist. You cannot put this on the level of starting a shoe business. Every journey begins with a first step. You cannot act as though only immediate and pedestrian benefits have any reality.
maporsche
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 06:30 am
Brandon, as much as I support NASA and science funding; I think manned spaceflight is an expense we just cannot justify right now. If we were running a surplus on our budget, and were on track to reducing our federal deficit, I would be more supportive of that program, but as it stands today and for the near future 0-10 years, we have some Earth-bound issues to address.

I would rather see that funding go into solving some of the technical problems with such a flight (zero-gravity and the human body, food/water storage/production, improvements to our propulsion systems, better deep-space protection for crew/electronics, etc). Those things can be funded and tested in near Earth orbit. And when we have these challenges fixed, we'll be in a much better position to send deep-space manned flights out.

I think those things are more realistic and have benefits that can be realized in our lifetimes.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 06:33 am
@maporsche,
maporsche wrote:

Brandon, as much as I support NASA and science funding; I think manned spaceflight is an expense we just cannot justify right now. If we were running a surplus on our budget, and were on track to reducing our federal deficit, I would be more supportive of that program, but as it stands today and for the near future 0-10 years, we have some Earth-bound issues to address.

I would rather see that funding go into solving some of the technical problems with such a flight (zero-gravity and the human body, food/water storage/production, improvements to our propulsion systems, better deep-space protection for crew/electronics, etc). Those things can be funded and tested in near Earth orbit. And when we have these challenges fixed, we'll be in a much better position to send deep-space manned flights out.

I think those things are more realistic and have benefits that can be realized in our lifetimes.

In 10 years, we will have more problems on the Earth and have to postpone it again. Thinking this way it will simply never get done. We cannot always take the short term view of everything.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 06:44 am
Otto von Bismarck said that "Politics is the art of the possible." This may not be to your taste, but you cannot escape the reality. The expenditures which will be required would be unprecedented in the history of the transactions of human governments. I still consider the example of Prince Henry and the Portuguese to be the appropriate way to look at this--a long, slow process based on modest programs. I'd guestimate two centuries (roughly) to get out to the asteroid belt to begin mining operations there. Private enterprise is not going to be interested unless and until there is a reasonable prospect of profits. I know of no example of exploration and colonization in human history which was not tied to the prospect of profits in the short term, whether or not the enterprises worked out that way.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 07:02 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Otto von Bismarck said that "Politics is the art of the possible." This may not be to your taste, but you cannot escape the reality. The expenditures which will be required would be unprecedented in the history of the transactions of human governments. I still consider the example of Prince Henry and the Portuguese to be the appropriate way to look at this--a long, slow process based on modest programs. I'd guestimate two centuries (roughly) to get out to the asteroid belt to begin mining operations there. Private enterprise is not going to be interested unless and until there is a reasonable prospect of profits. I know of no example of exploration and colonization in human history which was not tied to the prospect of profits in the short term, whether or not the enterprises worked out that way.

By this argument, there should not be robot probes either, since finding out about the surface of mars, or conditions on the other planets have no really clear short term profit justification either. We should also stop endownments to the arts (yes, I know they are only millions and not billions, but the principle is the same), since their return on investment is zero. I propose that we develop space travel without always having only profit in mind. I am looking down the road further, seeing the benefit to developing the capability to leave the Earth and go other places.
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 07:30 am
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:

A hundred and ten years ago, you'd be telling me that the airplane is a pipe dream. How is my goal of reaching other planets not "feasible regardless of the money we spend on it?"

The government did not pour fortunes into heavier than air space flight until the science showed that it was possible. Right now, the science pretty clearly shows that faster than light travel is not possible and without that, there is no hope of colonizing other planets. We've only just found other planets and still can't discern that they are planets that could support humans. I'm all for government support of fundamental scientific research. If some of that reveals a possibility of FTL travel, I'd certainly reevaluate my position. Additionally, Mars and the moon are not candidates for human life. Gravity too low, atmosphere wrong or non-existent, radiation levels too high. Let robots do it. Plus the advances in robotic technology would likely have terrestrial applications so you get some extra bang for your buck.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 08:38 am
@Brandon9000,
That's a string of straw man arguments. The scale of the expenditure for the projects you're ranting about make the costs of major wars pale in comparison. I wasn't advancing any arguments, i wasn't pissing down your leg and telling you it was raining--i was pointing out how representative governments work. You can continue to piss and moan about this, but it won't change the basic equations which govern what representative governments are willing to spend their money on.

Your nobility, your "boldly go" crap here is getting tedious. I suspect your soapbox is getting rather rickety, too.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 03:45 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

Brandon9000 wrote:

A hundred and ten years ago, you'd be telling me that the airplane is a pipe dream. How is my goal of reaching other planets not "feasible regardless of the money we spend on it?"

The government did not pour fortunes into heavier than air space flight until the science showed that it was possible. Right now, the science pretty clearly shows that faster than light travel is not possible and without that, there is no hope of colonizing other planets....

Not so. Relativistic time dilation makes it possible, if inconvenient.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 03:46 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

...You can continue to piss and moan about this, but it won't change the basic equations which govern what representative governments are willing to spend their money on.

Your nobility, your "boldly go" crap here is getting tedious. I suspect your soapbox is getting rather rickety, too.

Boy, even friendly posts set you off. I want to have this discussion, even if I am fighting an uphill battle here. I don't disagree with you about getting governments to finance things with mostly long term benefits, but I am trying to present my case.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 04:01 pm
You and i have divergent ideas about what constitutes a friendly post, then. It did not "set me off." I simply had not advocated what you attributed to me. I wasn't expressing an opinion about what should be done, just about what is likely to get done.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 04:07 pm
So then, my opinion is that the only realistic thing to do is to accept that this will be done incrementally, over a very long period of time. As i've said in this thread, and in others, my guess is that it will be two centuries before we even start to spread out in this star system.
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 05:54 pm
@Brandon9000,
I like your idealism on the subject and I thought your article was clever. I think your view is unrealistic, but someone has to dream those dreams. Perhaps if we get a healthcare bill and stop fighting these wars there will be room for a healthy space program.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 06:13 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

So then, my opinion is that the only realistic thing to do is to accept that this will be done incrementally, over a very long period of time. As i've said in this thread, and in others, my guess is that it will be two centuries before we even start to spread out in this star system.

This is a reasonable argument, but I am arguing for something more altruistic.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 06:14 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

I like your idealism on the subject and I thought your article was clever. I think your view is unrealistic, but someone has to dream those dreams. Perhaps if we get a healthcare bill and stop fighting these wars there will be room for a healthy space program.

Thanks. I hope so.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 09:42 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

You're a lot funnier when you're high.


So, does this mean you found my post funny and assume I was "high" when writing it?

Or does it mean that you found it not funny at all and so assumed that I was not "high" when writing it?

News Alert: I am almost always "high" when I post in this forum (Unless I post between 6:00am and 6:00pm on weekdays - usually). The source of the "high" varies quite a bit though, and I doubt you are able to assign the style of my posts to the drug I have imbibed.

Truth be told, I do make much more money every year than most Americans. I can't hold a candle to Warren Buffet or Bill Gates, but I earn well above the Democrat's definition of "rich." Operative word is "earn," and, quite frankly, altered states enhance my value.

Chances are you have no problem when "I" am an actor, an artist, a director, or a writer, and the best of them make far more than I do. If they are able to advance their artistic talent through altered states, I seriously doubt that you would find fault.

I earn what I make and I enjoy and value drugs.

My value mainfests itself during unaltered "working hours" and during moments of creativity in the wee altered hours.

I've no problem with drug users, I have a problem with people who have no initiative, no sense of personal responsibility, no drive to excel. Drugs are not mutually exclusive with value, production or excellence.

In truth, most of the people who use drugs do so to avoid the responsibilities of life, and when they do, they crash and burn.

So finally, I may be funnier when I am high but then you are rarely ever funny. Is this to be explained by drug usage?




Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 10:14 pm
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:

Finn dAbuzz wrote:

Space travel and exploration needs a greatly increased infusion of free enterprise.

While I think it is in our national interest to spend tax dollars on a US space program, I certainly appreciate the argument of those who believe the money can be spent better elsewhere, and their argument has been steadily gaining traction over mine for some time now.


My own position is very pro-NASA (except for maybe manned space flight, and I'm pro-manned-space-flight too if that's what it takes to grab imaginations and get dollars for other elements that are much more worthy IMO). But not pro-colonization of the moon and Mars.


I should point out that I have no problem with rational governmental funding of space exploration, I just don't think it is in the American hand of cards.

In the absence of US governmental funding, those of us who promote space exploration must look to foreign governmental funding or private financing.

The popular notion is that China will advance humanity's exploration of space.

Not likely.

First of all, the idea of an ominpotent Chinese economy that will have the funds to direct to space is irrational.

Secondly, if China does divert national funds to space it will be for military reasons.

This might result in an American response (a la the Space Race with the Soviet Union) that meets our desires, but who would not prefer to have the compulsion driven by something other than war?

As for space colonization, your aversion is born either of "ancient history" or James Cameron movies.

I don't believe that an "Avatar" scenario could happen today, but by the time we find ourselves on inhabited planets in other star systems, it is highly unlikely that we will be destroying Trees of Life.

Nothing lives on the Moon or on Mars. If we colonize either, we will not be eradictating any life forms, let alone sentient cultures.

The notion that humanity is some sort of infectious virus that should not invade even the most sterile of planets, is foolish self-loathing.

Private exploitation of space is likely to start with luxury experiences rather than mineral development. It's a start, albeit one which will take quite a while to bear real fruit.

I'm happy to pay taxes for space exploration AND colonization, but I just don't think the current politicians will allow this, and so I champion free enterprise involvement in space.

As a kid, I worshipped the Mercury astronauts, and as a 56 year old man I would love to see colonies on the Moon and Mars. Perhaps I will, but I doubt it, and I almost assuredly not see exploration beyond Mars, let alone our solar system.

Barring an extinction event, humanity will take to the stars. Quite possibly that by the time it does, us humans of today will not recognize the humans of that time.

Sozobe - You tend to adhere to Liberal thinking, but Liberals will never send us to the stars.



0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 11:51 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

joefromchicago wrote:

You're a lot funnier when you're high.

[snip]

So finally, I may be funnier when I am high but then you are rarely ever funny. Is this to be explained by drug usage?

I was right.
 

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