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Mars Rover launched successfully

riverc0il

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Also, just for the record here, I am somewhat undecided if $2 Billion for a rover trip to Mars is good use of our national expenditures even in the name of science. I don't know enough about what the project goals are to form an opinion. I am simply arguing against the knee jerk reaction that government shouldn't fund science.
 

deadheadskier

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And DHS, I am surprised you against NASA but against leasing Cannon. Two sides of the very same coin, IMO.

Not really.

State/National park expenditures I can reap the benefits of right away. Space travel? Not sure what benefit I or any American citizen receives from a 2B investment in determining if mico-organisms existed on Mars at some point in time. That's what this study is about.

To put this further in perspective, the entire National Park Budget for 2011 is $3B. http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/budget.htm Think about that. NASA is spending $2B to determine if microbial life existed on Mars and our entire National Park system has an annual budget that is only 50% higher.

National parks received 281M visits in 2010.

Imagine the benefit to the National parks if that $2B was invested in it instead? Think about all of the private businesses that thrive off of the National Park system and their benefit to the economy.

If someone can give me hard numbers as to why NASA expenditures are good for the economy, I'm happy to listen. Otherwise it's just a theory that NASA is good for the economy. With the national parks, you can probably sum up a fairly accurate estimate of what benefit they give towards US GDP. Not sure you can say the same about NASA.
 

PomfretPlunge

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What products wouldn't exist today if we hadn't spent nearly a half a trillion dollars on the space program over the past 53 years? What is the overall economic benefit to the economy of those products? If the science is so important, but doesn't produce an economic benefit, then what humanitarian / life science benefit has investment in the space program created?

> "Dark Star" is a song released as a single by the Grateful Dead. It was written by lyricist Robert Hunter
> and composed by lead guitarist Jerry Garcia. "Dark Star" was an early Grateful Dead classic and
> became one of their most loved and anticipated numbers, often with the group using it as a vehicle for
> musical improvisation sessions that extended beyond the original structure of the song.
> The song is included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list.

> Dark Star was the epitome of Grateful Dead's approach to live music and group think.
> Their most exploratory renditions have never been equaled or copied within context of a rock n' roll performance
> or recording. Using improvisation techniques, such as playing without meter,
> let the band to work with ideas that no other rock band would explore, let alone exploit.
> Jerry Garcia's playing, was often the catalyst to many musical themes...

Also, Mountains of The Moon... ???
 

speden

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I'd say this faith in the private sector doing great things for the economy and national interests is misplaced. If the banking crisis showed anything, it's that the private sector cares about one thing, and that's maximizing how many millions are paid out to the CEO and top executives.

Corporations don't care about U.S. jobs. If the exec's can get bigger bonuses by moving production to China, they'll do it in a heartbeat. They'll do the same with design and engineering work too. They see the U.S. as a stagnant mature economy and places like the far east and middle east as growth markets, and they'll happily boost those economies if it means bigger short term gains for them. This has been going on for many years now, and you can see how it's beginning to fundamentally weaken the U.S.

NASA and basic science research are not about making short term profits; it's about taking big risks and figuring out the big stuff. Not every project is going to work. But we're living in a golden age of discovery about the nature of the universe, and the U.S. should be a part of that. Would the private sector have put up the Hubble telescope? Of course not. That one device was a home run and has taught us things that have shaken our basic understanding of the universe. Now we're looking at concepts like infinite expansion and considering that we may be living in a gigantic multiverse instead of a single universe. I consider knowledge like that to be worth the price of admission, even if it hasn't turned a profit yet.

NASA isn't always as efficient as it could be. Each shuttle launch was about a billion dollars, so clearly that was not cost effective to keep going. But robotic planetary missions are cheap by comparison, and 2 billion spent over many years to do a groundbreaking mission to Mars is much more valuable than letting the military blow through it in about 2 seconds. If you want to save big money, that would be a better place to look than basic science.
 

deadheadskier

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> "Dark Star" is a song released as a single by the Grateful Dead. It was written by lyricist Robert Hunter
> and composed by lead guitarist Jerry Garcia. "Dark Star" was an early Grateful Dead classic and
> became one of their most loved and anticipated numbers, often with the group using it as a vehicle for
> musical improvisation sessions that extended beyond the original structure of the song.
> The song is included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list.

> Dark Star was the epitome of Grateful Dead's approach to live music and group think.
> Their most exploratory renditions have never been equaled or copied within context of a rock n' roll performance
> or recording. Using improvisation techniques, such as playing without meter,
> let the band to work with ideas that no other rock band would explore, let alone exploit.
> Jerry Garcia's playing, was often the catalyst to many musical themes...

Also, Mountains of The Moon... ???

:lol:

Thank god for the bible, lol. I'm a big fan of the tune Greatest Story Ever Told. :lol:
 

PomfretPlunge

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What products wouldn't exist today if we hadn't spent nearly a half a trillion dollars on the space program over the past 53 years? What is the overall economic benefit to the economy of those products?

:)

> Meteorological satellites represent one of the most important technological advances
> in the history of weather analysis and prediction. The launching of TIROS I
> (Television and Infrared Observation Satellite) on April 1, 1960
> revolutionized weather observation methods. TIROS I demonstrated the effectiveness
> of meteorological satellites in overcoming limitations of conventional observation techniques.
> For example, radar, weather reconnaissance aircraft, weather ships, and
> weather balloons supplied information on less than one-fifth of the Earth's surface;
> TIROS I encompassed almost the entire globe.

> NASA has served as the R&D organization with the National Meteorological Satellite Program,
> exercising the responsibility for designing, building, launching, and testing satellites...

> Meteorological satellites have greatly enhanced the accuracy of storm warnings and forecasts...

Think Snow :snow:
 
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deadheadskier

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I'd say this faith in the private sector doing great things for the economy and national interests is misplaced.

What national interest do we have in figuring out whether Mars once supported microbial life forms?

If the banking crisis showed anything, it's that the private sector cares about one thing, and that's maximizing how many millions are paid out to the CEO and top executives.

Agree with you 100% here. Except when I brought up private business, it was a comment regarding where the innovation in science and technology is occurring most right now. We just celebrated the death of a private businessman, college drop out in Steve Jobs that many consider a top 5 innovator of modern times.


Corporations don't care about U.S. jobs. If the exec's can get bigger bonuses by moving production to China, they'll do it in a heartbeat. They'll do the same with design and engineering work too. They see the U.S. as a stagnant mature economy and places like the far east and middle east as growth markets, and they'll happily boost those economies if it means bigger short term gains for them. This has been going on for many years now, and you can see how it's beginning to fundamentally weaken the U.S.

Agree with you again, but does NASA have a great concern in creating jobs?

NASA and basic science research are not about making short term profits; it's about taking big risks and figuring out the big stuff. Not every project is going to work. But we're living in a golden age of discovery about the nature of the universe, and the U.S. should be a part of that. Would the private sector have put up the Hubble telescope? Of course not. That one device was a home run and has taught us things that have shaken our basic understanding of the universe. Now we're looking at concepts like infinite expansion and considering that we may be living in a gigantic multiverse instead of a single universe. I consider knowledge like that to be worth the price of admission, even if it hasn't turned a profit yet.
.

It's great to learn new things, but the simple question remains, how does discovering whether or not Mars once supported microbial life directly benefit US National interests? The same cost to figure that out could put 133K kids through college for a year.

NASA isn't always as efficient as it could be. Each shuttle launch was about a billion dollars, so clearly that was not cost effective to keep going. But robotic planetary missions are cheap by comparison, and 2 billion spent over many years to do a groundbreaking mission to Mars is much more valuable than letting the military blow through it in about 2 seconds. If you want to save big money, that would be a better place to look than basic science.

You'll get no argument from me that the Defense Budget is a much easier place to target savings, but that's a separate discussion.

All I'm asking is how does NASA directly benefit our nation? I've asked that question a few times and I've been given the answers

Velcro

A couple of tunes my favorite band wrote might have been inspired by space travel

and your statement the knowledge that we are living in a gigantic multi-universe.

I guess I'd just prefer to see federal funds committed towards science that has tangible benefits on our lives. I'd rather $2B go towards something like Cancer research than figuring out if Mars once supported life.
 

speden

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What national interest do we have in figuring out whether Mars once supported microbial life forms?

Agree with you 100% here. Except when I brought up private business, it was a comment regarding where the innovation in science and technology is occurring most right now. We just celebrated the death of a private businessman, college drop out in Steve Jobs that many consider a top 5 innovator of modern times.

Agree with you again, but does NASA have a great concern in creating jobs?

It's great to learn new things, but the simple question remains, how does discovering whether or not Mars once supported microbial life directly benefit US National interests? The same cost to figure that out could put 133K kids through college for a year.

You'll get no argument from me that the Defense Budget is a much easier place to target savings, but that's a separate discussion.

All I'm asking is how does NASA directly benefit our nation? I've asked that question a few times and I've been given the answers

Velcro

A couple of tunes my favorite band wrote might have been inspired by space travel

and your statement the knowledge that we are living in a gigantic multi-universe.

I guess I'd just prefer to see federal funds committed towards science that has tangible benefits on our lives. I'd rather $2B go towards something like Cancer research than figuring out if Mars once supported life.

I find the questions being answered by space science compelling and in the national interest. As I mentioned earlier, there is a cascade effect of inspiring our youth, and invigorating research at our universities. It also spurs technology development to carry out these missions. Paying the tuition for 133K kids doesn't help the country if those kids are looking to get high paying Wall street jobs instead of careers in science and engineering.

One of the main questions in planetary science now is where did life come from. Did it arise on Earth, do planets exchange the building blocks of life with each other, or did it come from asteroids. Answering questions like this is basic science. It's not about making hubcaps or curing cancer. Other parts of the economy and government deal with that.

Jobs stood on the shoulders of those that came before him. Part of that foundation is due to space science done by NASA. Take NASA away and I wonder if there would have been a Steve Jobs. As we lose our commitment to basic science, I wonder if the next Jobs will be from another country.

NASA does not focus on creating jobs, but they work on U.S. interests, unlike multi-national corporations, which work on their own interests.
 

ctenidae

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Can someone name 10 advances in technology that came out of the space program that have benefited mankind?

1: Appllo mission's flight computer design was the basis for the development of integrated circuits- only a benefit if you like computers smaller than a fridge
2: Fuel cells used in the Apollo program were the first viable fuel cells
3: Smoke Detectors- developed for Skylab
4: Cordless drill and the DustBuster- developed by Black and Decker under a program with NASA
5: CATScans and MRI- use digital image processing developed by the JPL to map Moon landing sites- then became the basis for the Landsat satellites
6: Weather forecasts- satellites are handy for that
7: Digital cameras- developed by NASA



I'm tired of looking (and hearing the argument that NASA is a waste). Here's 49 more- http://www.sti.nasa.gov/tto/Spinoff2010/pdf/Brochure_10_web.pdf; and 20 more: http://ipp.nasa.gov/pdf/spinoff_top_20a.pdf

Knock yourself out looking at the breadth and depth of NASA research- http://technology.nasa.gov/
Over 1200 patents, over 2500 technologies

And spinoffs from NASA research: http://www.sti.nasa.gov/tto/index.html
 

ctenidae

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It's great to learn new things, but the simple question remains, how does discovering whether or not Mars once supported microbial life directly benefit US National interests? The same cost to figure that out could put 133K kids through college for a year.

And without basic science research, what would you teach them?
 

deadheadskier

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Well, if that $2B was pumped into cancer research you could teach them that.

We'll just have to agree to disagree that spending $2B to determine if there was ever life on Mars is a good investment. I don't think it is.

I put that right up there with putting a man on the moon. It's a waste of money.
 

Geoff

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1: Appllo mission's flight computer design was the basis for the development of integrated circuits- only a benefit if you like computers smaller than a fridge
2: Fuel cells used in the Apollo program were the first viable fuel cells
3: Smoke Detectors- developed for Skylab
4: Cordless drill and the DustBuster- developed by Black and Decker under a program with NASA
5: CATScans and MRI- use digital image processing developed by the JPL to map Moon landing sites- then became the basis for the Landsat satellites
6: Weather forecasts- satellites are handy for that
7: Digital cameras- developed by NASA



I'm tired of looking (and hearing the argument that NASA is a waste). Here's 49 more- http://www.sti.nasa.gov/tto/Spinoff2010/pdf/Brochure_10_web.pdf; and 20 more: http://ipp.nasa.gov/pdf/spinoff_top_20a.pdf

Knock yourself out looking at the breadth and depth of NASA research- http://technology.nasa.gov/
Over 1200 patents, over 2500 technologies

And spinoffs from NASA research: http://www.sti.nasa.gov/tto/index.html

Most of your list is NASA adaptations of existing technology to their specific application. Fuel cells, for example, have been around for almost 200 years. Integrated circuits came out of the telecom industry (Bell Labs). In US technology, the military has always funded the basic research. NASA has always paid private contractors to adapt existing technology (engineering vs pure science).

There has been a ton of pure science done in the Shuttle era. I cited the Hubble earlier in this thread as the true home run. There's nothing else you can point to that is groundbreaking.
 

bigbog

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I hope the rover has a soft landing. Something like two thirds of all missions to Mars have failed. The Martians don't take kindly to outsiders landing on their planet.

HA HA great one speden!, leave it to a link from Houston to the CIA's Warehouse in VA to find future fertile ground for future conflict.... Should be interesting...Russia's on their way as well...aren't they? The lust for the Cold War budgets dies hard....
 
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ctenidae

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Well, if that $2B was pumped into cancer research you could teach them that.

We'll just have to agree to disagree that spending $2B to determine if there was ever life on Mars is a good investment. I don't think it is.

I put that right up there with putting a man on the moon. It's a waste of money.

For every dollar NASA spends, there's $8 of benefit to the economy. NASA gets royalties on all of their patents- money that goes to the US Treasury, not to NASA (some think NASA would be self-funding if they got to keep the royalties. Kind of like MiB, I suppose).

Interesting discussion here:
http://www.freakonomics.com/2008/01/11/is-space-exploration-worth-the-cost-a-freakonomics-quorum/
 

bigbog

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For every dollar NASA spends, there's $8 of benefit to the economy....

Can't disagree with that...and compared with the $10B that in 04' Bush proposed, to start with...while keeping a tight lip on his wars & healthcare unfunding...$2B is meager..compared with the $500M he gave the crooked, sinking Sol***tra (name?).
 

andyzee

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My response in red

1: Appllo mission's flight computer design was the basis for the development of integrated circuits- only a benefit if you like computers smaller than a fridge (How many of these circuits are now made in the United States?)
2: Fuel cells used in the Apollo program were the first viable fuel cells (What are said fuel cells used for here? Street lights?)
3: Smoke Detectors- developed for Skylab (We needed to go into space to detect smoke?)
4: Cordless drill and the DustBuster- developed by Black and Decker under a program with NASA (Once again, we needed to go into space to develop somethng that works on DC instead of AC?)
5: CATScans and MRI- use digital image processing developed by the JPL to map Moon landing sites- then became the basis for the Landsat satellites
6: Weather forecasts- satellites are handy for that (Hmm.. didn't we have those before we went to mars? The first weather satellite, Vanguard 2, was launched on February 17, 1959)
7: Digital cameras- developed by NASA (Steven Sasson as an engineer at Eastman Kodak invented and built the first digital camera using a charge-coupled device image sensor in 1975)



I'm tired of looking (and hearing the argument that NASA is a waste). Here's 49 more- http://www.sti.nasa.gov/tto/Spinoff2010/pdf/Brochure_10_web.pdf; and 20 more: http://ipp.nasa.gov/pdf/spinoff_top_20a.pdf

Knock yourself out looking at the breadth and depth of NASA research- http://technology.nasa.gov/
Over 1200 patents, over 2500 technologies

And spinoffs from NASA research: http://www.sti.nasa.gov/tto/index.html
 

deadheadskier

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For every dollar NASA spends, there's $8 of benefit to the economy. NASA gets royalties on all of their patents- money that goes to the US Treasury, not to NASA (some think NASA would be self-funding if they got to keep the royalties. Kind of like MiB, I suppose).

Interesting discussion here:
http://www.freakonomics.com/2008/01/11/is-space-exploration-worth-the-cost-a-freakonomics-quorum/

SWEET

then we should have NASA spend $125B and the deficit goes away. :beer:

;)
 

ctenidae

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SWEET

then we should have NASA spend $125B and the deficit goes away. :beer:

;)

Well, probably more than that, since the revenue only comes back through taxes to the gov't. Still, a hell of a lot better ratio than from a lot of other government programs. Somehow I doubt farm subsidies get anywhere near that kind of impact.

The long term negative impact of not spending $2B on NASA is greater than the short term positive ompact (if any).

How much would Columbus' voyage cost today?
 

ctenidae

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My response in red

Fine. We should probably end all government funding of basic and applied sciences. We really don't need anything that the DoD, DARPA, NASA, NIH, CDCP, or any other research arm has ever, or will ever, concieve of. It is clearly better to live in this exact moment, without thinking of the longer term. There is no reason to plan for or invest in the future when it's so much easier to do what feels good right this instant.

A lot of people took money that shouldn't have been given to them to buy houses and other things they couldn't actually afford, and so the economy is in trouble. We should clearly stop spending money on research and development, hole up in our caves, and hope that someone else figures something out for us. Guess what- China is spending a shit ton of money on research. Bet it'll be them who figures things out.

It is my extremely strongly held belief that the funding of research without immediate commercial applications may be one of the greatest functions of a modern government. There are certianly a whole host of other things the government spends a whole lot more money on that are much less useful, no matter your time horizon.

It is also my extremely strongly held belief that people who disgree with me are wrong.
 
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