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(Slate)   A careful, point-by-point analysis of why Newt's moon base idea is pants-on-head retarded   (slate.com) divider line 226
    More: Obvious, newts  
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15268 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Jan 2012 at 2:40 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-01-30 03:23:38 PM
Wibble
 
2012-01-30 03:24:02 PM
The most pants-on-head retarded thing about it is the idea that he'd ever be elected President, let alone get a SECOND term.
 
2012-01-30 03:25:23 PM
Newt's nuttiness aside, this guy does a fairly stupid straw man tap dance. Newt hasn't released a plan, so this guy kindly makes one up in order to destroy it.

He begins with the premise that Newt's plan is the same as Griffin's estimate from almost a decade ago and goes from there. BS article is BS. I mean, I'd like to hear Newt out on this.

If he plans to send up four guys for a week, then its strictly no sale.

If he plans for a long-term project where we, say, send up robots that can print building materials from the regolith then, yeah, he might be worth hearing on the matter.

Finally, Gingrich may not be aware that the current U.S. flags on the moon don't mean we own it, any more than those on U.S. research stations in Antarctica mean we own that continent.


Did Gingrich say that? I honestly don't know. What I do know is that our polar research program is incredibly very worth it, and I have trouble seeing how a permanent research station is NOT worth the effort.
 
2012-01-30 03:26:27 PM

Rincewind53: timujin: Newt being a dingbat notwithstanding, I do have at least one issue with the article:

It took more than $100 billion to manufacture a white elephant in near-Earth orbit called the International Space Station, a large, smelly metal can that to date has produced no science, no manufacturing, and tourism that only billionaires could afford

No science? (warning: PDF, pops)

I came in here to add the same thing. Wiki's got a very extensive list of the science coming out of the ISS, here.

The author probably thinks because he doesn't have flying cars yet, there has been "no science" coming out of it. Other commenters on the article share a depressing lack of understanding of how science works, especially the guy who says that with the $100 billion the ISS cost you could "Create an HIV vaccine (probably)" and "Create a universal flu vaccine (probably)."


HOWEVER, the station is too low, because we wanted to be able to reach it with the shuttle. At the time, we had no evidence that the insulation on the wiring could survive the ozone levels at that atmosphere. The low orbit provides a lot if disadvantages, but we were so locked-in to Reagan's "space taxi" that we could not put it up where it belongs.

/Yes, Reagan is not responsible for the low orbit.
//The moron who told him it was a "space taxi" is responsible for a multitude of sins.
 
2012-01-30 03:29:01 PM

FeedTheCollapse: [reasonable discussion points]


Ok, you can not fark off.
 
2012-01-30 03:29:32 PM

FightDirector: I'll admit, I'm torn here. On one side, Newt's idea very much is "pants-on-head retarded" (a phrase that should be bandied about more often when it comes to talking about politicians and their policies).

On the other hand, given how unprofitable space exploration is in the short term (which is what corporations care about), and given how much our manned space program has been gutted recently, I'm having a hard time arguing against anyone championing such a program. What's the quote about "someday the sun will go out, and if we aren't off this rock, everything humanity has ever done is for nothing"? It seems relevant.

On the third hand, though, he's basically just sucking up to the Florida areospace industry, and will be just as likely to stay faithful to this campaign promise as he was to stay faithful to his wife.


Yellowstone will erupt a bunch of times and we'll get hit with lots of asteroids before the sun burns out. On top of the tons of self-inflicted thing we might do to ourselves.
 
2012-01-30 03:29:58 PM

I would have thought the idea for a moon base would have come from

LUNAR OP
 
2012-01-30 03:30:33 PM

CliChe Guevara: Short lesson from someone who helps design this stuff;
Moon=No way, ever.
Mars=Feasible
Self-sustaining orbital colonies=Feasible



Seriously, and in a non trolling way, can you explain to me how the intersection between technology necessary to land things on Mars and technology necessary to create a self sustaining orbital platform could POSSIBLY preclude a self sustaining Moon platform? I can imagine reasons for it to be silly, impractical, maybe even pointless, but I can't possibly see how it could be argued as infeasible from a technical perspective if the other two are.
 
2012-01-30 03:30:46 PM

atomsmoosher: Did Gingrich say that? I honestly don't know.


13,000 people and they can vote to become a state
 
2012-01-30 03:32:08 PM

DarnoKonrad: StrangeQ: DarnoKonrad: Low earth orbit is a vital component of Earth's economy -- but it has practically nothing to do with the actual physical presence of human beings in low earth orbit -- much less the moon

Except for all those missions leading up to Apollo where we were testing out different rocket designs and learning how to send people into Earth orbit, your statement makes complete sense.


Actually, that had a lot more to do with regularly testing ICBMs under the guise of a peaceful program.


Nevertheless it was NOT done with the intention of setting up a network of global positioning and communications satellites. Research being done today may have implications that we cannot even conceive of until 30-40-50 years from now, but people can not or willfully do not understand this. They see how far we've come and all the advances we've made and have decided that anything else to be done must only be done so if the rewards for it being done are immediate and quantifiable, preferably in monetary terms. We are left with no vision for the future because having vision also entails understanding and undertaking risks, which people today will have nothing of.
 
2012-01-30 03:33:01 PM

FightDirector: PlatinumDragon: I don't want to be mistaken for someone who opposes space exploration. A serious plan to establish sustainable human colonies on the moon, Mars, and beyond would be exciting. I just don't see it happening without a willingness to shovel several hundred billion dollars into a furnace without any expectation of return. It's about as risky and resource-intensive an operation as we can cook up, and opportunities to extract resources from the whole thing will be a side effect of the big exploration experiments - new and improved space propulsion systems, better radiation-hardened computers, long-term self-sustaining habitats, and so on. The sunk costs will be in-farking-credible, and unless Newtie intends to backstop the whole thing with T-bills and debt, it's exceedingly unlikely any combination of today's aerospace companies will be willing to hang their necks out there to finance the mess. The shareholders would riot, for one thing.


That's pretty much the argument for space exploration being the purview of the government, right there.

If it's going to happen at all, then the government HAS to do it, because absent a guaranteed return on the tremendous investment, no-one else will.


Anyone willing to step up is welcome to try. Personally, I don't think anyone motivated primarily by personal financial profit will make the first move. The basic R&D will require people willing to risk resources for the sheer hell of it or for non-financial motives. By that standard, I don't even see the US government ponying up taxpayer money, debt, or hot-off-the-presses Salmon P. Chases at this time.

My guess - if China's economy doesn't implode from massive misallocations and labour unrest within the next two decades, they might establish a test facility. That's a big if, though. India + Russia, maybe?
 
2012-01-30 03:33:28 PM

manimal2878: fark putting men on the moon until we figure out how to put every man in a house.


And every woman in the kitchen.
 
2012-01-30 03:33:37 PM
Maybe they could build Club Med on the moon.
 
2012-01-30 03:34:26 PM
I'd personally love to see a research station on the far side of the moon, probably with a large radio telescope as the anchor tenant. I'd like to get some extra-terrestrial experience on the (much closer) moon before we set sail for Mars.
 
2012-01-30 03:35:54 PM

DarnoKonrad: StrangeQ: DarnoKonrad: Low earth orbit is a vital component of Earth's economy -- but it has practically nothing to do with the actual physical presence of human beings in low earth orbit -- much less the moon

Except for all those missions leading up to Apollo where we were testing out different rocket designs and learning how to send people into Earth orbit, your statement makes complete sense.


Actually, that had a lot more to do with regularly testing ICBMs under the guise of a peaceful program.


Considering how little Saturn technology was used in ICBMs, I'm going to have to throw a [Citation Needed] on that. We came to the realization fairly early that large liquid fueled rockets make poor weapons. Takes too long to fuel them.
 
2012-01-30 03:35:57 PM
Newt Gangrape.

I just wanted to be the first one to use that.
 
2012-01-30 03:36:39 PM

way south: Abe Vigoda's Ghost: Know who else thought it would be a good idea to go to the moon?

Yes, but he was a DEMOCRAT!

/Its almost assured that some day in the near future, someone will build a moon base.
/I wonder if the logical thinking and sane people looking up from the ground will still feel like they are wearing their pants on their bottoms.


Kennedy's challenge to get us to the moon within a decade had nothing to do with space exploration. It was meant as a direct threat to the USSR. He wanted to show them that we could develop the technology needed to rain nuclear weapons down on them from space. In fact most of our and the Soviet's space program had this purpose. The rest was just cover and good PR.
 
2012-01-30 03:37:20 PM

Mr. Titanium:
HOWEVER, the station is too low, because we wanted to be able to reach it with the shuttle. At the time, we had no evidence that the insulation on the wiring could survive the ozone levels at that atmosphere. The low orbit provides a lot if disadvantages, but we were so locked-in to Reagan's "space taxi" that we could not put it up where it belongs.

/Yes, Reagan is not responsible for the low orbit.
//The moron who told him it was a "space taxi" is responsible for a multitude of sins.


What the hell are you talking about?
 
2012-01-30 03:37:29 PM

StrangeQ: DarnoKonrad: StrangeQ: DarnoKonrad: Low earth orbit is a vital component of Earth's economy -- but it has practically nothing to do with the actual physical presence of human beings in low earth orbit -- much less the moon

Except for all those missions leading up to Apollo where we were testing out different rocket designs and learning how to send people into Earth orbit, your statement makes complete sense.


Actually, that had a lot more to do with regularly testing ICBMs under the guise of a peaceful program.

Nevertheless it was NOT done with the intention of setting up a network of global positioning and communications satellites. Research being done today may have implications that we cannot even conceive of until 30-40-50 years from now, but people can not or willfully do not understand this. They see how far we've come and all the advances we've made and have decided that anything else to be done must only be done so if the rewards for it being done are immediate and quantifiable, preferably in monetary terms. We are left with no vision for the future because having vision also entails understanding and undertaking risks, which people today will have nothing of.



Yea, I'm aware of all that. I just really hate it when people act like manned space flight is the totality of space exploration, when at best it's an expensive sideshow. Later this year we're landing an SUV on Mars -- and we didn't have to waste billions of dollars on a human chauffeur for the thing to do it.
 
2012-01-30 03:39:10 PM

DarnoKonrad: atomsmoosher: Did Gingrich say that? I honestly don't know.

13,000 people and they can vote to become a state


Oh for f**k's sake.
 
2012-01-30 03:40:01 PM

CheatCommando: DarnoKonrad: StrangeQ: DarnoKonrad: Low earth orbit is a vital component of Earth's economy -- but it has practically nothing to do with the actual physical presence of human beings in low earth orbit -- much less the moon

Except for all those missions leading up to Apollo where we were testing out different rocket designs and learning how to send people into Earth orbit, your statement makes complete sense.


Actually, that had a lot more to do with regularly testing ICBMs under the guise of a peaceful program.

Considering how little Saturn technology was used in ICBMs, I'm going to have to throw a [Citation Needed] on that. We came to the realization fairly early that large liquid fueled rockets make poor weapons. Takes too long to fuel them.


Space program didn't start on Saturns. And you know it.
 
2012-01-30 03:41:35 PM
A republican could claim that women have babies and global warming is real and he or she would be immediately dismissed as a nutjob and there would be 4 fark threads greenlit about it.
 
2012-01-30 03:41:37 PM

DarnoKonrad: CheatCommando: DarnoKonrad: StrangeQ: DarnoKonrad: Low earth orbit is a vital component of Earth's economy -- but it has practically nothing to do with the actual physical presence of human beings in low earth orbit -- much less the moon

Except for all those missions leading up to Apollo where we were testing out different rocket designs and learning how to send people into Earth orbit, your statement makes complete sense.


Actually, that had a lot more to do with regularly testing ICBMs under the guise of a peaceful program.

Considering how little Saturn technology was used in ICBMs, I'm going to have to throw a [Citation Needed] on that. We came to the realization fairly early that large liquid fueled rockets make poor weapons. Takes too long to fuel them.

Space program didn't start on Saturns. And you know it.


It was Kia's, amirite?
 
2012-01-30 03:42:43 PM
Finance a trillion dollar moon base by taxing the middle class, while reducing taxes on the rich and increasing tax breaks for big oil?

Or increase the national debt.

Why are Republicans against the national debt now? After all, it was they who created the budget deficit in the first place, with all their wars and tax breaks for the rich.
 
2012-01-30 03:44:08 PM

DarnoKonrad: StrangeQ: DarnoKonrad: StrangeQ: DarnoKonrad: Low earth orbit is a vital component of Earth's economy -- but it has practically nothing to do with the actual physical presence of human beings in low earth orbit -- much less the moon

Except for all those missions leading up to Apollo where we were testing out different rocket designs and learning how to send people into Earth orbit, your statement makes complete sense.


Actually, that had a lot more to do with regularly testing ICBMs under the guise of a peaceful program.

Nevertheless it was NOT done with the intention of setting up a network of global positioning and communications satellites. Research being done today may have implications that we cannot even conceive of until 30-40-50 years from now, but people can not or willfully do not understand this. They see how far we've come and all the advances we've made and have decided that anything else to be done must only be done so if the rewards for it being done are immediate and quantifiable, preferably in monetary terms. We are left with no vision for the future because having vision also entails understanding and undertaking risks, which people today will have nothing of.


Yea, I'm aware of all that. I just really hate it when people act like manned space flight is the totality of space exploration, when at best it's an expensive sideshow. Later this year we're landing an SUV on Mars -- and we didn't have to waste billions of dollars on a human chauffeur for the thing to do it.


You mean you're crashing an SUV on Mars. As much as I want MSL to succeed the skycrane thing is just too sketchy.
 
2012-01-30 03:44:35 PM
Maybe Gingrich can "invest" our tax dollars like the highly successful Green Energy initiative!!!

Oh wait.......

http://www.globalwarming.org/2012/01/27/drip-drip-drip-yet-another-gr e en-energy-stimulus-recipient-hits-the-skids-the-third-this-week/
 
2012-01-30 03:45:28 PM
StrangeQ 9beers: xtragrind: So we are against space exploration now? Any politician, whether retarded or not, pushing for space exploration is a good thing.

Yeah, I don't get why this blew up the way it did.

Because of the source. If it were a respected astrophysicist relating the technical details and possible benefits then people might have reason to listen. But it's Newt Farking Gingrich. The only thing that stupid asshole knows about science is what his staffers told him that might be beneficial in the polls.


Interestingly enough, the author of TFA, Lawrence Krauss, is himself a respected astrophysicist. Keep that in mind if you try to argue that the people opposed to Newt's program are anti-science Luddites.
 
2012-01-30 03:45:52 PM

Parthenogenetic: BalugaJoe: First we have a moonbase. Next they are throwing rocks at us.

[i.imgur.com image 370x534]


That's the one movie I most want somebody to make. I want to see that climactic battle!
 
2012-01-30 03:46:04 PM
I can just picture his people thinking "Dangit. Aren't those folks who support 'science' ever satisfied? This should have shut them up for at least a couple of months."
 
2012-01-30 03:48:33 PM
Rich people will spend money on *anything* to avoid having one thin dime go to improve the lives of the middle and working classes.
 
2012-01-30 03:48:48 PM

GreatTikiGod: He's stealing a forecast from George Friedman's (the STRATFOR guy) book "The Next Hundred Years." According to Friedman, moon colonization is feasible, if not inevitable... 30 or 40 or even 50 years from now, not anywhere in the near future.

/ I loathe Newt and this plan will never leave the ground. Clear pandering.


How is moon colonization inevitable? There's nothing on the farking moon. Or at least nothing there that we can't get in greater quantities with much lower shipping costs on Earth. There's no economic benefit, the environment is harsher than the bottom of the ocean, and there isn't any science you can't do better with robots or in orbit.
 
2012-01-30 03:52:16 PM

meanmutton: Argumentum ad hominem (new window)


Beg to differ.
Au countrair, mon fair.

he cheated on his wife.
He is not a man.
Ergo, I cann't attack him as a man alone.

Also, his hair is a road killed bird, so your argument is invalid.
 
2012-01-30 03:53:58 PM

wren337: I'd personally love to see a research station on the far side of the moon, probably with a large radio telescope as the anchor tenant. I'd like to get some extra-terrestrial experience on the (much closer) moon before we set sail for Mars.


The far side of the moon would be better for an optical telescope rather than radio. Radio isn't disrupted nearly as much by our atmosphere, light pollution, etc as optical given the technological advancements of today(software, interferometry, etc)
 
2012-01-30 03:54:30 PM

hawcian: way south: Abe Vigoda's Ghost: Know who else thought it would be a good idea to go to the moon?

Yes, but he was a DEMOCRAT!

/Its almost assured that some day in the near future, someone will build a moon base.
/I wonder if the logical thinking and sane people looking up from the ground will still feel like they are wearing their pants on their bottoms.

The logical thinking and sane people will be the ones who build it. We just know it can't be done in eight years without throwing half the US budget at it (and maybe not even then). It'll happen, no doubt -- though I'd rather it be a Lagrange point colony than a lunar base.


I think the time table is not an engineering debate. Its political, and we're under estimating what the application of presidential level flame to bureaucratic rear end can accomplish.

Do we have the rockets needed to lift payloads to the moon? With orbital refueling and a few other tricks, yes. Between SpaceX and the EELV programs, the hardware can be found.
Do we know how to make most of the base related equipment we need?
Yes, since NASA was already studying how to build new rovers, suits and landers.
Do we have the expertise? I believe we do. NASA and private industry are both fast studying folks.

The real question is if NASA can negotiate the sea of its own contractual red tape to get hardware built within a presidential term limit. There's nothing in the engineering that's stopping us from making a moon shanty within that time.

/Last go round they did it all in less than eight years, without modern computers or four decades of additional space experience.
/One estimate has the total cost at under 200 billion in today's dollars.
/That's the gold package moon program for less than what it cost to make the F-22.
 
2012-01-30 03:57:39 PM

Masso: What we need is a large interplanetary self-sustaining migration spaceship capable of transforming into giant robot with particle cannon gun for self defense, escorted by fleets of fighters capable of transforming into different modes for different combat environments to handle possible giant hostile humanoid aliens.


God dam it! The vehicle Voltron was the worst Voltron ever.
 
2012-01-30 03:58:28 PM

Rincewind53:
I came in here to add the same thing. Wiki's got a very extensive list of the science coming out of the ISS, here.


Yes, but when you look at the list it almost falls into one of two categories:

1. Stuff which could have been done just as well, and much more cheaply, on an unmanned satellite and

2. Stuff about how humans adapt to living on the ISS, which is really only of interest if you have an ISS to put humans on.

The few nuggets of interesting science there are not $100,000,000,000 worth.
 
2012-01-30 03:58:50 PM

DarnoKonrad: CheatCommando: DarnoKonrad: StrangeQ: DarnoKonrad: Low earth orbit is a vital component of Earth's economy -- but it has practically nothing to do with the actual physical presence of human beings in low earth orbit -- much less the moon

Except for all those missions leading up to Apollo where we were testing out different rocket designs and learning how to send people into Earth orbit, your statement makes complete sense.


Actually, that had a lot more to do with regularly testing ICBMs under the guise of a peaceful program.

Considering how little Saturn technology was used in ICBMs, I'm going to have to throw a [Citation Needed] on that. We came to the realization fairly early that large liquid fueled rockets make poor weapons. Takes too long to fuel them.

Space program didn't start on Saturns. And you know it.


No parts from the ICBMs used for Gemini or Mercury were used in Apollo, either. In fact, the Air Force complained to high heaven that the man-rated versions of those rockets were delaying production of the weaponized versions. Particularly with the Titan. The Von Braun team was pulled out of the ICBM world when they were left in the Army and the Air Force got that role.

So I am still waiting for that citation.
 
2012-01-30 03:59:06 PM

PlatinumDragon: My guess - if China's economy doesn't implode from massive misallocations and labour unrest within the next two decades, they might establish a test facility. That's a big if, though. India + Russia, maybe?


It'll be the French.

/for the cheese
 
2012-01-30 04:00:46 PM

orbister: Rincewind53:
I came in here to add the same thing. Wiki's got a very extensive list of the science coming out of the ISS, here.

Yes, but when you look at the list it almost falls into one of two categories:

1. Stuff which could have been done just as well, and much more cheaply, on an unmanned satellite and

2. Stuff about how humans adapt to living on the ISS, which is really only of interest if you have an ISS to put humans on.

The few nuggets of interesting science there are not $100,000,000,000 worth.


Meh, we would have just spent that money on stupid shiat like single payer health care and free college educations.
 
2012-01-30 04:01:50 PM

DarnoKonrad: Nevertheless it was NOT done with the intention of setting up a network of global positioning and communications satellites. Research being done today may have implications that we cannot even conceive of until 30-40-50 years from now, but people can not or willfully do not understand this. They see how far we've come and all the advances we've made and have decided that anything else to be done must only be done so if the rewards for it being done are immediate and quantifiable, preferably in monetary terms. We are left with no vision for the future because having vision also entails understanding and undertaking risks, which people today will have nothing of.


Yea, I'm aware of all that. I just really hate it when people act like manned space flight is the totality of space exploration, when at best it's an expensive sideshow. Later this year we're landing an SUV on Mars -- and we didn't have to waste billions of dollars on a human chauffeur for the thing to do it.


It's not the totality, but there are certain advantages to having a live, human being at the helm, especially when it comes to exploration. A 5 minute communication delay over a limited data pipeline is no match for a person on the scene able to react to information in real time. There is also the personal aspect. What do you think is going to inspire a child more: seeing a replica of an autonomous vehicle sent to Mars that is sitting behind ropes at a museum, or having a real life conversation with a person who actually walked on another planet?

LMark: StrangeQ 9beers: xtragrind: So we are against space exploration now? Any politician, whether retarded or not, pushing for space exploration is a good thing.

Yeah, I don't get why this blew up the way it did.

Because of the source. If it were a respected astrophysicist relating the technical details and possible benefits then people might have reason to listen. But it's Newt Farking Gingrich. The only thing that stupid asshole knows about science is what his staffers told him that might be beneficial in the polls.

Interestingly enough, the author of TFA, Lawrence Krauss, is himself a respected astrophysicist. Keep that in mind if you try to argue that the people opposed to Newt's program are anti-science Luddites.


Not at all. I would love to see a base on the moon, but there is no way on this Earth it will ever be accomplished by a Newt Gingrich.
 
2012-01-30 04:04:24 PM

timujin:
No science? (warning: PDF, pops)


Um, keep in mind that is a NASA publication. Just sayin'.

/often times really interesting experimental data doesn't emerge for years after the experiment's over
//and it's not always from the experiments you thought it would be the most rewarding
///or the ones you spent the most money on
 
2012-01-30 04:05:52 PM

soopey: I have to laugh. This was on the front page of money.cnn.corn

[i2.cdn.turner.com image 620x355]


Odd they chose the Shanghai skyline to photoshop onto the background
 
2012-01-30 04:09:39 PM

babtras: soopey: I have to laugh. This was on the front page of money.cnn.corn

[i2.cdn.turner.com image 620x355]

Odd they chose the Shanghai skyline to photoshop onto the background


I'm guessing it has to do with China's recent boasts about starting a lunar colony.
 
2012-01-30 04:13:30 PM

hawcian:
The logical thinking and sane people will be the ones who build it. We just know it can't be done in eight years without throwing half the US budget at it (and maybe not even then). It'll happen, no doubt -- though I'd rather it be a Lagrange point colony than a lunar base.


But a-how-how-how-how would you build it there?

/here they gotta a lotta nice girls though
 
2012-01-30 04:13:32 PM

UtileDysfunktion: timujin:
No science? (warning: PDF, pops)

Um, keep in mind that is a NASA publication. Just sayin'.

/often times really interesting experimental data doesn't emerge for years after the experiment's over
//and it's not always from the experiments you thought it would be the most rewarding
///or the ones you spent the most money on


It's usually those that do the work that publish the results of their experiments... And while your slashies are both obvious and vague enough to be unworthy of debate, do you have any issues with the information in the document itself?
 
2012-01-30 04:14:42 PM
Isn't this the kind of lunacy that got Kucinich laughed out of contention?
 
2012-01-30 04:20:41 PM
StrangeQ Interestingly enough, the author of TFA, Lawrence Krauss, is himself a respected astrophysicist. Keep that in mind if you try to argue that the people opposed to Newt's program are anti-science Luddites.

Not at all. I would love to see a base on the moon, but there is no way on this Earth it will ever be accomplished by a Newt Gingrich.


Oh, I wasn't saying that you, in particular, were making that argument. I was thinking of the many farkers who would, and often already have, argued that. It was the collective "you." Sorry if that was unclear.
 
2012-01-30 04:21:00 PM

Slaves2Darkness: orbister: Rincewind53:
I came in here to add the same thing. Wiki's got a very extensive list of the science coming out of the ISS, here.

Yes, but when you look at the list it almost falls into one of two categories:

1. Stuff which could have been done just as well, and much more cheaply, on an unmanned satellite and

2. Stuff about how humans adapt to living on the ISS, which is really only of interest if you have an ISS to put humans on.

The few nuggets of interesting science there are not $100,000,000,000 worth.

Meh, we would have just spent that money on stupid shiat like single payer health care and free college educations.


Or one more year in Iraq!
 
2012-01-30 04:25:45 PM
What Newt's moon base might look like:

cdn.pimpmyspace.org
 
2012-01-30 04:26:19 PM

xtragrind: So we are against space exploration now? Any politician, whether retarded or not, pushing for space exploration is a good thing.


No, but you have to look at the bang for the buck. There are pretty much three useful goals for space exploration:

a) making sure we know what is out there -- e.g. asteroids and stuff coming at us, interesting deposits of rare elements, possible alien life.
b) making sure humanity has an escape route for existential threats -- of course since I get motion sickness and am not a billionaire I don't expect to be able to make use of said escape
c) performing science and astronomical observation that is easier in space (i.e. due to low gravity, less atmosphere, etc.)

The only one that requires people in space is (b). I agree we need to invest somewhat in that -- i.e. it is a worthy goal to have humans established permanently off Earth. But it out of practicality has to be a bit of a slow burner -- there is a huge expense and time to develop all the technologies. And the moon won't be sufficiently far away to be protection from bad events on Earth -- so would have to be Mars.

The other goals can be done with lots of relatively cheap robots, orbiters, rovers, etc. I'd rather support getting satellites around every major body in the solar system before we set up a permanent moon base ...

Lastly all this has to be balanced with investments back home. It is dumb to be spending more in space exploration than in exploring our own oceans.

So basically, it is not a matter of saying space exploration is lunacy, but rather that doing it quickly, expensively, and without the right priorities is.
 
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