Kids More Interested In Cyberspace And MySpace Than Outspace?

from the cybernauts,-not-astronauts? dept

Apparently, NASA is getting worried that the kids these days aren't interested in outer space, preferring to do their "travels" through cyberspace. That seems like a somewhat odd conclusion, as there doesn't seem to be anything mutually exclusive about the two. Also, it's not like you need every kid to be interested in going into space. The number of people who actually get to travel in space is quite small, and I'd imagine that there are still plenty of kids interested in the possibility of either becoming an astronaut or working for NASA. Of course, it might help (as the article notes) if there actually were sexy space missions again. These days, everything having to do with sending people into outer space has been rather mundane and boring.


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  1.  
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    dorpass, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 10:50am

    Mundane and boring?

    OK, yes, no one gets to be the first man on the moon anymore, but I was pretty sure that the current drive by private companies is actually to make space mundane and that's where they are planning on making money.
    Back in the day, being an airplane pilot was risky and exciting, it is not anymore, yet we somehow find a way to lure a few people into doing it here and there, no?

     

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  2.  
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    Pro, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 12:01pm

    Duped

    That's cause this generation is a bit too smart to get duped into Science and engineering fields by movies like Star Wars.

    The reality is that NASA is a beurocracy that has brainiacs spinning their wheels in hamster-like cages.

     

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  3.  
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    Hellsvilla, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 12:20pm

    I'd love to do alot of things

    But I have long since accepted the reality that I will never be able to. Once I realize my generation won't be starting the first colony in space, I realized there was no real point to be excited by space at all.

    It's big. It's ominous. It's entirely irrelevant.

    Tho the lack of really good sci-fi stories might have something to do with it too. When I was a kid, my first aspiration to go to the moon was reading Isaac Asimov's stories. Two that come to mind are Low earth orbit skydiving, and the one about arena matches on the moon. The people weighed so little, that they were able to fashion wings for themselves and it was an airborne battle.

    Imagine being able to fly under your own power. It would be incredible. Alas, if we ever do get to colonize the moon, it's so damn inhospitable, we'd have a hard enough time trying to keep the colony alive to be off creating huge arenas for mankind to fly around in.

     

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  4.  
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    Apennismightier, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 12:20pm

    Going where no man has gone before...

    It's always been man's desire to go where no other man has gone before, bang out hot space girls, and carry around cool laser guns... basically, if NASA could make themselves in Star Wars or Star Trek, people might care. Fixing a satellite or looking at a nebula we'll never visit in our lifetime on the other hand... yeah fun.

    Most kids want to go in space because they haven't found the wonders of cyberspace until they get older; massive amounts of porn and pirated games/movies/music. Maybe Virgin should open up an interactive music store on the mooon...

     

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  5.  
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    GTpyro, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 12:20pm

    education

    I think where these comments are stemming from is the educational outreach that NASA conducts on a regular basis. The best way for NASA to get its money is to get a huge grassroots movement (which they have done through outreach programs and lobbying organizations such as Citizens for Space). If today's kids are less interested in space exploration, they are less likely to support these programs when they grow up. This is good long term thinking for NASA.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 12:30pm

    Re: I'd love to do alot of things

    Plans for a permanent base on the moon are in the works for around 2012 (which given usual setbacks probably means around 2020).

    Still, we'll be around for that.

    How cool is that?

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 1:17pm

    true, nasa will get applicants, but maybe not as many as they like. and that's the problem

    consider this...

    my HS had about 900-1100 kids (grades 9-12). another school had over 2k. each year, the other school had better sports teams. they didn't have "better coaches" or "more funding" or anything like that. they just had a larger talent pool to use. and the larger a sample size, the better you'll get.

    so yeah, having 1000 applicants for 10 positions isn't as good as having 10,000 applicants for those same 10 positions.

     

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  8.  
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    Joshua Atchley, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 1:24pm

    It was all a hoax!

    The moon landing was a farce. We never even left earths atmospere. Research for yourselves. The facts all speak loud and clear.

     

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  9.  
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    Sagenth, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 2:29pm

    Outer Space? lol!

    The real problem isn't "Outer Space" it is dimensional space period..
    "generation y" doesn't care about going outside, in outer space (ie outside the computer) because it isn't as entertaining.

    Imagine technology just suddenly died.. I think a lot of people might commit suicide. I find that sad, the fact is.. nobody would know what to do. There would be those nature people who wouldn't give a shit, and then there would be everybody else who would be saying.. OH NO SOCIETY IS GOING TO COLLAPSE.. lol it is sad society is so attached to technology. It is purely a mental connection, as their actual existence is not connected to any such thing.

    "mundane and boring"
    Yet the people accomplishing these mundane and boring things, no doubt have a sense of accomplishment. As if they really helped in doing something, they probably even had a lot of enjoyment accomplishing the task. These people likely feel full of life.. where as.. the current "generation y" would need excitement, entertainment, to feel that same feeling. Even if the feeling would be fleeting.

    I am noticing that techdirt likes to defend things.. I've got a better idea, start attacking things instead.. if they can not defend their own mental activities, then they aren't defendable. Defend yourselves not the groups, because many times the members of the group are just following what they see. I don't want to write a 6000 word comment here.. so I am going to just abruptly stop here. I will not finish the comment, it will be as is. If you think it looks finished and argueable, then well all I am going to say is it is not finished, so it can't be fully arguable. Let individuals defend themselves, force them to make their own defense. Don't be a crutch. If a crutch is a tool, I think we can all agree it will be over used. Guns are tools, computers are tools, televisions are tools, clothes are tools.. We use tools without reason half the time.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Duped

    The important thing is, they are using their brains. "This generation" isn't.

    Challenge yourself in how to use your brain, with out being a hamster. Without being a gear in a machine. If you don't your whole life will revolve around excitement. What happens if there is nothing to be excited about, when there is no fun to be had. You won't be too happy.

     

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  11.  
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    Rose M. Welch, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 2:33pm

    In my lifetime...

    ...we've just seen media about people being blown up, equipment crashing to the earth, and meteors that may hit us that we can do nothing about. In my area, there are plenty of museums that are devoted to different kinds of art and nature and history... But only one science museum with a small section for space and a mediocre planetorium.

    In a generation where the guy that walked on the moon is an annoying blowhard politician, and 'Houston, we have a problem.' is an overused cliche, I can see that we wouldn't have as much interest.

     

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  12.  
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    Doug B., Mar 18th, 2008 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Re: I'd love to do alot of things

    As recently as 2006, NASA's goal was to establish a permanent lunar base by 2020.
    Moon Base Entry, Internet Encyclopedia of Science.

    It should be interesting to see how this generation reacts to the next lunar missions.

     

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  13.  
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    wnyght, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 4:07pm

    Re: It was all a hoax!

    thank goodness someone had the balls to say it!

     

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  14.  
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    Suomynona Drawoc, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 5:05pm

    Re: It was all a hoax!

    No you stupid pig, it wasn't

     

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  15.  
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    Hoeppner, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 5:35pm

    for a while there was a Scott Hoeppner's Astronomy page of doom. It wasn't me that made it just someone with the same name, was kinda golden.

    As for space(as for as this Hoeppner cares) it's not something I'm to worried about. A pretty light show that the only reason our govt needs to keep a vested interest in is so a handful of corporations don't get all the benefits of space(after all someday it will be commercially feasible).

     

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  16.  
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    Charming Charlie, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 9:49pm

    Freakonomics Quorum

    Earlier this year the freakonomics blog asked the question is space exploration worth the cost?

    It had much more insightful commentary than these comments here.

     

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  17.  
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    Charming Charlie, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 9:58pm

    Freakonomics Quorum

    I failed to select the HTML option: Is space exploration worth the cost?

     

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  18.  
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    Alimas, Mar 19th, 2008 @ 11:30am

    Re: It was all a hoax!

    That your in strong need of an education.

     

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  19.  
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    Pat Bitton, Mar 19th, 2008 @ 3:26pm

    Re: Duped

    But perhaps not smart enough to be able to spell 'bureaucracy' correctly?

    :-)

     

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  20.  
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    Jason Whitehead, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 4:40am

    Re: Mundane and boring?

    Re/reply: Of course, it might help (as the article notes) if there actually were-sexy- space missions again. These days, everything having to do with sending people into outer space has been rather mundane and boring.

    Ok what about the first-Womanon the moon?
    This will surely start another multi-billion space
    race, something we could all think of when we're
    struggling to pay rates and taxes!!

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Jason Whitehead, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 4:40am

    Re: Mundane and boring?

    Re/reply: Of course, it might help (as the article notes) if there actually were-sexy- space missions again. These days, everything having to do with sending people into outer space has been rather mundane and boring. Ok what about the first-Womanon the moon? This will surely start another multi-billion space race, something we could all think of when we're struggling to pay rates and taxes!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Jeff Webster, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 11:26am

    Re: It was all a hoax!

    The conspiracy theories about faking the lunar landing have all been debunked. The flag, the shadows, the spreading of dirt, and so on. There were independent tests done to either support or debunk these theories. There was even a documentary produced about this. I would post some links about this.

    But none of this matters when people read a headline and think they know the whole story. Easier to follow than lead.

     

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