DailyDirt: If People Were Meant To Fly In Space…

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

When the Soviets launched Sputnik 1 in 1957, the US launched a satellite and put together its own space agency less than a year later. In the past week, NASA has commemorated the loss of its astronauts in the Challenger and Columbia disasters, as well as the men who died in Apollo 1. There’s a new generation of kids who have only seen SpaceX and Soyuz take stuff into low earth orbit (plus maybe a successful Orion test) — and a few other private companies reaching the edge of space. Robots have been doing an excellent job of exploring mars and other destinations in our solar system, but we shouldn’t forget about manned space exploration entirely.

After you’ve finished checking out those links, if you want to support NASA unconditionally, print out this form and send your money… into space.

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Companies: nasa

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Comments on “DailyDirt: If People Were Meant To Fly In Space…”

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14 Comments
Barnaby says:

Excellent post on the overall NASA boondoggle!

Of course it would take hundreds of text pages to fully catalog the staggering waste, mismanagement and corruption by NASA. NASA was a huge mistake from the getgo — the little it actually achieved could easily have been handled by other existing federal agencies & private industry, at dramatically lower costs.

Indeed, all those citizen space cadets & media propagandists who advocate extravagant manned space travel and general space exploration — should directly pay NASA for it… by sending their own cash/checks/money-orders routinely to the NASA bureaucracy.

STOP stealing money from the taxpayers for your silly space fantasies & space hobbying !

GO to Mars and have fun — but do it with your own money and that of people who VOLUNTARILY share your exotic dreams.

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Far more TAX dollars go towards stadiums and other costs related to millionaire-owned organized sports teams. Not what your kids are playing, but what they’re watching on TV.

America’s human space flight programs cost around $7 billion a year. By comparison, Americans spent more than $154 billion on alcohol. The costs of dealing with the latter almost certainly cost the taxpayers more than the former.

In the ’70s the USAF calculated that using satellites to conduct weather reconnaissance saved $100,000 a day over the cost of flying airplanes to get the job done. In today’s dollars that would probably be $1,000,000 per day. The space program has given also us communications, remote sensing (for resource and crop monitoring) and GPS satellites and much, much more. Who knows what we’ll get once the launch rate goes up bringing launch costs down.

As a programmer, I believe in making backups. The same concept applies to humanity: Establishing a self-sustaining colony on another planet is a Very Good Idea.

Over the four-and-a-half-billion-year history of Earth, few events have truly mattered: There was the advent of single-celled life, multi-celled life, the development of plants, then animals.

The next step – the first big step in 540 million years – is the extension of life to another planet. It could happen in our lifetime. Thinks about that.

Or, if that’s not your priority, keep spending it on stadiums for millionaires, and alcohol.

Barnaby says:

Re: Re: Re:

..really amusing when these knee-jerk NASA apologists reliably pop up to defend the indefensible.

Above, you hear — ‘Hey, the government wastes all kinds of money (like sports stadiums)… why pick on my NASA hobby pet interest’.
{… Duh, the answer is to stop ALL wasteful government spending, including NASA, sports subsidies, bloated military, and hundreds of other things}

And — ‘Hey, NASA only spends $7Billion a year’.
{…NASA has spent/wasted over a TRILLION Dollars since late 1950s and always has expensive future plans! Think of all the other things that Trillion could have been productively used for — a cure for cancer, clean water & air & power-generation for citizens, safe roads & vehicles & infrastructure, general health & dental care, lower taxes, etc. etc. — instead we get moonrocks & TV interviews with unnecessary astronauts. NASA gets 5-times as much federal spending compared to other areas of science}

Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Just curious. How much better would NASA be if they DIDN’T have to go through government approvals, budgeting, purchasing protocols? What if NASA was a private company that got X amount of dollars from the government toward a project with the remainder brought in through private sources? Let’s give them some access to certain government resources like early rocket science and military pilots as well, but limited money.

It’s not like things developed for space haven’t benefited the private sector. If they kept the patent for Velcro say, and other things developed for or by them, would they be self funding now?

The real question, the one you don’t ask or answer is, is exploration good or bad? It’s not like it’s a new concept for humans.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Yeah, let’s privatize everything !
It will be great! .. It will be fabulous !

Why not privatize the roads, all of ’em. It won’t be that bad … paying a new toll every time you turn. They just send you the bill, which will be way more than the amount you pay via for roads via taxation.

What a great idea!

Rekrul says:

The Columbia space shuttle disaster might have been averted with a second space shuttle launch to dock with it and rescue the astronauts.

The Columbia disaster WOULD have been averted if NASA had authorized a spacewalk to visually inspect the damage to the wing instead of relying on mathematical probabilities and guesswork. Frankly, I think that’s a problem that runs through everything that NASA does.

“See how this number is .003 instead of .005? That proves that there is an Earth size planet orbiting this star which is 400,000,000,000 miles away, covered in giant diamond mountains with emerald tips and heavy concentrations of methane.”

The Challenger explosion was predicted by a handful of NASA engineers who argued against launching the shuttle because they had data that indicated the o-rings wouldn’t seal properly under the cold weather conditions.

I predicted this. No, not the explosion, but the fact that after a little time had passed, people would be coming out of the woodwork to say that they had known this was going to happen. In fact, right after it exploded, I told someone “They claim they have no idea what went wrong, but a month from now, the news will be interviewing janitors at NASA who will say that they warned everyone that this was going to happen.”

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