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#52649 - 07/19/04 09:36 AM Re: OT: politics
bigjohn Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 3016
Loc: San Angelo, TX
In reply to:

I want less gov... but I also want (demand!) a man'd mission to Mars




inane- i sure hope that was a joke?? i still dont understand why this is SUCH a big deal?? why are we spending billions and billions of dollars to try and send spacecraft to photograph mars?? research, science, knowledge?? meanwhile, we got plenty of people dying right here on earth from diseases and plagues.. and we got plenty of people that cant walk from MD, and other possibly preventable defects. but somehow it makes more sense to keep wasting money to find a microscopic organism imbedded 6 inches in a chunk of mars rock??

i hope someone, someday, can make this extreme waste of time and money make sense?

bigjohn
_________________________
EXCUSE ME, ARE YOU THE SINGING BUSH??

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#52650 - 07/19/04 10:39 AM Re: OT: politics
Radspecv Offline
old hand

Registered: 04/14/04
Posts: 62
Loc: Minnesota
I have to agree. I've always wondered what they were hoping to gain from all this space exploration. It would seem more beneficial to spend the money to fix the Earth first.

Pete

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#52651 - 07/19/04 11:01 AM Re: OT: politics
ringmir Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/03/04
Posts: 619
Loc: boston
I tend to agree with the whole space exploration thing, although I know there are other places this money could go. (IE: deep ocean exploration...) The thing is, that as a species we will outgrow this planet. (Unless we kill each other off first of course) Now I'm not saying we should start doing serious terraforming research or anything like that, but in all seriousness, earth is an infintessimal speck on the face of the universe. I think it's important to see what is out there, and to know we can get there. Who knows if some discovery of extreme value lies under 6 inches of martian soil? Science is driven forward by dreamers, not by necessity. Robotics will have a significant place in the not too distant future whether we like it or not. Building robots to navigate an alien landscape and succeed in specific missions is an excellent way of evolving our robotics capabilities. Aerospace technology needs new technological challenges in order to push forward. For the sake of military security in a changing world we need to continue to evolve our space capabilities and stay ahead of potentially hostile countries. If one nuclear bomb were detonated at orbital elevations, the EMP would shut down thousands of satellites. It's not a waste of money at all...granted, there are other places the money could go, but there's also more money that can go there. Look at the war chest, and compare it to NASA's budget. I'm going to spot ranting now....but seriously, this is good stuff that will ultimately benefit mankind, there is just no way to predict how or where.
_________________________
[black]-"The further we go and older we grow, the more we know, the less we show."[/black]

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#52652 - 07/19/04 01:44 PM Re: OT: politics
BigWill Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
Why not spend billions on exploring near space? We waste that kind of money on all kinds of crap that has zero possibility for return.

Just to stir the pot , why is that we give money to people for not working? Why not make employment a condition for welfare/unemployment money?

It seems to me that they're encouraging people to remain unemployed by paying them for not working. A minimum wage job might look better if you had a nice little gov't check to go along with it. And, hopefully, those minimum wage jobs would snowball into bigger and better things for many people who otherwise would have been at home on the couch watching Jerry Springer, waiting for the next gov't check to come in.

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#52653 - 07/19/04 02:16 PM Re: OT: politics
ringmir Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/03/04
Posts: 619
Loc: boston
The problem with space is exactly that. Space. Near space is "empty". Exploring a vacuum just isn't terribly interesting. And the debris out there is studied quite extensively. A few floors away from me in this building they maintain a database of observations and tracking information on thousands of satellites, rocks, and just plain space trash. When they were planning the space station they called over here to find out what area would be the best to build it in order to minimize potential space debris collisions.
_________________________
[black]-"The further we go and older we grow, the more we know, the less we show."[/black]

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#52654 - 07/19/04 06:53 PM Re: OT: politics
BigWill Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
I can't say that I know much about space, but I thought it was amusing when Clinton said, "...we have conquered space...," in a State of the Union address. Like our tiny forays outside earth's atmosphere are of any significance compared to the vastness of the universe.

I was discussing space and time travel once with a very intelligent student. He asked my opinion about all of it - I told him I didn't think it was possible (to travel through time or to distant solar systems) and explained why. He asked what college I had graduated from - I told him, but asked why he wanted to know. "So I know not to go there," he replied and walked away. It truly was hilarious.

I've always thought that "warp speed" would be awfully difficult to do. What about all the debris scattered in front of the path of the ship? How do you chart a course of that distance without encountering any rocks?

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#52655 - 07/19/04 07:35 PM Re: OT: politics
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16273
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
BigWill, when you travel at warp speed (hypothetically, of course), you're taking a non-liner shortcut between point A and B.

Imagine space as a sheet of copier paper. Point A is near one edge, and point B is near the opposite edge. Using conventional travel, the shortest distance between the two points is a straight line. Using warp travel, you can bend space, bringing point A and B closer together. To use star trek terms, the "warp factor" is the degree to which space is bent. The more you bend it, the close the destination becomes.

That being said, my jury is still out as to whether faster than light travel (which, technically speaking, is time travel) is possible. It cannot be attained conventionally (i.e. just firing you thrusters until you eventually reach light speed), but it may be possible using other means, such as black holes or worm holes. There are some exiting new discoveries that suggest black holes are not as destructive as previously believed.

Being a complete geek and former nerd, I can't say I want all money that's currently going toward space research to be diverted toward earthly endeavors, but I do think the majority of our expenditures as a nation should go toward terrestrial issues.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#52656 - 07/19/04 08:24 PM Re: OT: politics
Zarak Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/09/03
Posts: 1849
Loc: PA
I understand what makes you a complete geek, but what qualifies you as a "former" nerd?

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#52657 - 07/19/04 08:57 PM Re: OT: politics
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16273
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
I'd rather not say.

LOL, I don't know why I said that. Maybe it should be former geek instead. I'm not scrawny, I like sunlight, and I don't eat much junk food. James_R might say that disqualifies me.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#52658 - 07/19/04 09:22 PM Re: OT: politics
James_T Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/03/04
Posts: 715
Loc: Seattle WA
Hehe. Since you live in the Bay Area allowances must be made. You can retain geek status and not be pasty white or eat nothing but junk food. However, if you do not consume caffeine then you are out! Out I say! Out!

jr
_________________________
"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." C Hitchens

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