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(The Planetary Society)   The sorry state of planetary science funding In one chart   ( planetary.org) divider line
    More: Sad, Planetary Science, Timeline of Solar System exploration, Planetary Society, raw data, charts, scientific research  
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4058 clicks; posted to Geek » on 15 Dec 2013 at 10:17 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-15 09:01:30 AM  
2 votes:
1: That's sad.  We need more good science.
2: As with all graphs that have a nonzero y-axis, that graph is bullshiat.  Yes, there's been a drop, but it's not "almost to zero", as that graph would have you believe.
3: Still need an increase in planetary science funding.
2013-12-15 05:25:49 PM  
1 vote:

theorellior: HighZoolander: Meh, we've already landed a probe on Titan, why should Europa be any harder?

Gawd, I would love to have a Curiosity-sized mission to Titan. Wouldn't that just be the shiat? A nuclear-powered rover the size of a RAV-4 cruising around on gullies carved by ethane flash floods in rock-hard ice? Oops, I think I just jizzed in my pants.


Rover for Titan?  No.  Titan is the only world outside of earth that allows two more interesting options

1) Blimp.  Titan has low gravity, high atmospheric pressure and calm winds near the surface.  You can cover way more ground with a blimp than a rover, and just set down for a little while when you want surface samples.
2) Boat.  There are entire ethane lakes on the surface- paddle around them to see the coastline and get good measurements of the hydrology of the moon.

Rovers are great elsewhere, but I want a freaking boat on Titan.
2013-12-15 12:57:20 PM  
1 vote:

Erix: I honestly never understood the scorn people heaped on him for this one. There's plenty to dislike the guy for, but when people that were otherwise supportive of space exploration started laughing at Gingrich for this, it just stunk of partisanship.


It's just about the only thing Newt has ever said that I agree with.

blacksharpiemarker: Admittedly, we need to fix our problems at home (of which we have many) before setting our sights on the stars.


I strongly believe we can do both, if we weren't so fixated with blowing things up.
2013-12-15 12:53:41 PM  
1 vote:

SN1987a goes boom: $20 billion? We could've had 1 whole aircraft carrier for that!


Until a couple of years ago, $20B/year was the US military budget for air conditioning in Afghanistan and Iraq.
2013-12-15 11:41:17 AM  
1 vote:

The Bestest: qorkfiend: I don't know about "orders of magnitude" easier. Easier because it's closer, sure, but if you've solved the basic problems of getting people to Mars and back, you can easily solve the basic problems of getting people to Europa and back. It'll just take a bit longer.

I'm not even talking about people at this point, just probes/rovers. Distance is a -huge- factor just from a propulsion and communication standpoint and it is a much stickier math problem landing something on/placing into orbit around another planet's moon than it is another planet.


The only thing stopping us from sending an Europa mission in the near future is money, not math. The Europa Clipper is already in the concept stage, but considering the cuts to planetary science it seems unlikely to ever fly. The math is well understood, sure it's harder but doing hard things is what we do.

We land rovers on Mars with sky cranes, we orbit Mercury for the first time ever, NASA should be doing what is hard but that requires money. As it stands now, we can have Cassini or Curiosity next year. We can't have both because the funding isn't there.
2013-12-15 10:44:06 AM  
1 vote:

doglover: dahmers love zombie: 1: That's sad.  We need more good science.
2: As with all graphs that have a nonzero y-axis, that graph is bullshiat.  Yes, there's been a drop, but it's not "almost to zero", as that graph would have you believe.
3: Still need an increase in planetary science funding.

4. NASA hasn't proposed a sexy mission in ages. It's all Hubble deep field recolors, mars probes, and dorky "lulz microgravity" stuff on the ISS.

We need a manned mars mission. It's the only way.


How about this for a sexy mission, Europa Clipper, it can go explore the most likely spot after earth for signs of possible livable conditions. Yet, nope that isn't sexy enough. Mars in nice, I like Mars but Europa is one the most interesting places in our solar system and we aren't sending a mission to it.
2013-12-15 09:14:07 AM  
1 vote:

dahmers love zombie: 1: That's sad.  We need more good science.
2: As with all graphs that have a nonzero y-axis, that graph is bullshiat.  Yes, there's been a drop, but it's not "almost to zero", as that graph would have you believe.
3: Still need an increase in planetary science funding.


4. NASA hasn't proposed a sexy mission in ages. It's all Hubble deep field recolors, mars probes, and dorky "lulz microgravity" stuff on the ISS.

We need a manned mars mission. It's the only way.
 
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