Sat 3 Jan, 2004 11:22 pm
Right now there's not much to link to. It hit Mars and sent back a strong signal. Jubilation at NASA.
"NASA officials will be holding a post-landing press conference at 12:30 a.m. EST."
Great edgar! I've been watching live coverage and waiting to hear more details.
Great achievement for American know how and ability. However, aside from satisfying mans insatiable need to know what benefits can be realized that would justify the gazilions of dollars spent on projects such as these? Considering the problems that are faced by people on the planet we inhabit on a daily basis couldn''t the funds have been better spent. In any event what could possibly be so important in knowing whether Mars had ever supported life?
I believe man has a secret desire to revitalize Mars and put colonies there. Besides, the amount they spend is paltry compared to the war machine.
Uuuh did ya have a look at nasa.gov already?
Looks like the folks out there need reality to look like a TV-show in order to make them be interested in it.
You should call your next war in Iran, Syria or North Korea "Battlematch3k" - I'm sure that'll finally make you independet from those freakin UN-fags as it'll give you a lot more supporters...I mean who could withstand those flashy colors and...uh uh those cool sounds when moving over a button...gotta become a NASA-scientist too
Paltry, have you any idea regarding the actual costs that went into making this mission and others like it a success?
Sure. But, the war people dwarf that, and in fact when NASA projects have a military application, the costs overlap, sort of.
In the early 70's, Sagan noted in one of his books, that the Pioneer missions to Mars cost less than the cost overruns on the F-16. The space program has given us new biometric knowledge and tools, new medical equipment and treatment regimes, pocket calculators, home computers, new ceramics, new conductors . . . and lots and lots of new jobs. For the money we spend on the space program, if the Defense Department got the same bang for the buck that NASA does, we'd have sent a couple of battalions of MP's to Afghanistan and a Marine regiment to Iraq.
I believe that teraforming Mars is possible. Whether or not it were desireable is for someone other than me to consider. I believe that "rule out any surviving aboriginal life" would almost be a necessity, as i'm certain there would wide-spread and vocal "enrironmental" opposition to the scheme, whether or not life were present. Assuring that we would not be destroying the native life forms (were there any) would likely, without pressing need on Earth, be a necessity. If the human race decided to terraform Mars, and the necessary resources in terms of vehicles and equipment were available, i have an excellent and cheap plan to bring water ice, CO2 ice, nitrogen ice, etc., from the accretion ring around Saturn. Then ya just slam them suckers into the Martian poles, and pray for rain.
I am holding out a belief there may be microscopic life somewhere on Mars. If true, that would make it potentially dangerous enough to keep real humans home.
I forget which of the astronauts said
'All of the money spent on the space program was spent here on earth"
Keep the ETs poor and barefoot.
What is the use of the expense of space exploration? Science, in part, works on the basis of comparison. That is understanding one phonomania by comparing it with other,related phonomania. So to understand what earth is like, it helps to understand what it is not like. Mars exploration is pat of that comparative effort. At minimum, it expands our intellectual horizon and give us a deeper understanding of what we are. It is hard to put a price tag on that but we have been doing it now for about 500 years, and we certainly do not live like we did 500 years ago.
Space exploration is a noble cause. I am not educated enough in the field to give a lot of fancy reasons, but, it is part of nature for life to expand into every available space. Science from the effort benefits all of us and the rise in understanding of ourselves and our universe is incalculable, as has been pointed out by setanta and acquiunk. If we need to cut the budget I would look to a bloated military.
Tain't just the military is bloated as the whole Foggy Bottom area generally.
Figured on a costs per unit of work basis the whole bureaucracy could not possibly compete in a real world. There may be a few exceptions but that could be a good subject for another thread.
I read somewhere that it cost the average american about a quarter to put a man on the moon. Heck; I spend more than that to mail my check to the electric company
au1929, What would you rather do with the surplus. We already grow enough tomatoes to provide ketchup to anyone who can use it. We are sending more people to college than are able to use the knowledge. We can easily provide 2000 calories a day to every single human being. If it wasn't for certain intrangencies amongst us every human could have all his needs met peacefully and also would have the ability to tend to most of his wants. All that is necessary is to convince the preachers and politicians, and the "mechanics and engineers"
amongst us will get the job done.
Perhaps you'd like to use the surplus labor to build some more Cathedrals or Pyramids.
Would that be a more intelligent use for the excess labor
Yep. I believe that if they cut NASA the money saved would go into military industrial porkbarrel uses, benefiting nobody.