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Lamenting the Space Shuttle

  1. My Esoteric profile image88
    My Esotericposted 3 years ago

    Do we understand now why it was so stupid to cut-off-our-nose-despite-our-face and throw-the-baby-out-with-the-budget-bathwater when Congress, both Bush's and Obama's, decided to abandon the shuttle program before there was a viable alternative in place.

    Since most of Congress is made of short-term thinkers who rarely have the capability of seeing the long-term picture, this eventuality of Russia having the U.S. by the balls (gonads, if you are female) vis-a-vis the space program was predictable.

    Do you agree or disagree"

    1. janesix profile image60
      janesixposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Since the space program has always been a huge waste of money in the first place, I am not worried either way.

      And I don't get the female-gonads part of your post.

      1. MizBejabbers profile image89
        MizBejabbersposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Females don't have balls, but the term "gonads" covers both male and female anatomy. (Hope that saved you an explanation, ME.)

        1. janesix profile image60
          janesixposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Actually I didn't know that. It might be more than I really wanted to know. But, not you're problem. I asked.

          1. My Esoteric profile image88
            My Esotericposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Look around you, @Janesix, at all of the scientific marvels that surround you.  Most of them wouldn't be here yet if it weren't for our governments adventures into space.  War and the space program, both government funded, are behind almost all of the major scientific breakthroughs since 1916.

            1. janesix profile image60
              janesixposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              So do you also advocate for war as a means of scientific achievement as well?

              How about just being direct, and put the money where it would be most useful? Instead of blowing things up to find out how they work, or just...um... blowing things up?

              1. My Esoteric profile image88
                My Esotericposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Of course not, just stating a fact.  You see, what I find amazing that neither of those two items includes private enterprise initiative.  The more corporations became focused on short-term profits, the less interested they became in original innovation; the best they could do was take someone else's idea and make it different and sometimes better.

                Did private companies come up with new ideas?  Sure, but normally at the behest of a government program with public funding.

              2. profile image61
                retief2000posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                It was a war time need to spot incoming German bombers before they reached the cities of Britain that forced the perfection of radar.  Prior to WWII there was little identified need for radar.  Necessity as the mother of invention spurred the development of radar which resulted in the invention of the microwave oven.  All because war provides the necessity for the inventor.

                1. My Esoteric profile image88
                  My Esotericposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  It is true, but a shame, isn't it.

                  1. profile image61
                    retief2000posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    War is an ancient human endeavor. If it must be then let it be useful and it must be. We have discovered other endeavors to spur our creativity.  Hunger, pain, illness, injury, death, ignorance, filth, contagion, etc... if we lived in Paradise who would need a knee implant.

                    Ironically, it is the threat of an enemy on the high frontier that spurred the Space Race. The reemergence of an invigorated Russia and an avaricious China may trigger a new Space Race, but it will require a political leadership that doesn't keep its nose in the dirty, but instead, looks up at the stars.  We have become, like Europe, a people whose primary concern is the dirt we dig with our snouts for the few grubs we are permitted to eat, rather than look at the far horizon and wonder what lies beyond.

                    The drift toward the materialist, leftist, social welfare state has stripped us of our monumental power to reach and reach until what we imagine, we grasp.  Once we were dreamers and explorers, now we are root diggers.  When our distant ancestor, the same ancient who fought the first war, mounted a rise and saw distant mountains, he wanted to climb them.  Now we complain that our I-Phone doesn't run the most popular game application; that our manscaping requires too much time; that our skinny jeans have gone out of fashion and that our half-caf-soy-mocha-latte just isn't as good when the right barista is off sick.

                    We have ceased being men and have become children.  The far horizon is cold, lonely and dangerous - my Starbucks is warm, dry and has free wi-fi.

                    It is the end of us, perhaps when the cockroaches inherit our rubble they will colonize the stars.

    2. MizBejabbers profile image89
      MizBejabbersposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I agree with you that we cut off our space program prematurely. It appears that we are goin' up no matter what. Now the U.S. is depending on private industry to get us there. There was a 60 Minutes interview with the man (I can't remember his name) who has put U.S. private industry in space, and his capsule has already made trips to the Russian space station. Did you also notice that this man is a South African who came to the U.S. because he was seeking opportunity. We can't even see our own opportunities anymore; it takes foreigners to see opportunities in our own backyards..
      Our government ought to be ashamed, but it may be like U.P.S. and Fed Ex, privatization may be more efficient and save taxpayers money. I am not for the privatization of all government services because I think they are a way for greedy corporations to raise prices and really gouge citizens, but a few chosen really are more efficient. This country is well on its way to being a third-world country if the current trend is not reversed in a hurry, so maybe allowing the haves to pay for space exploration will take some of the pressure off the have-not taxpayers. I sound like I am disagreeing with myself, but I'm just trying to justify the trend.

      1. janesix profile image60
        janesixposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Why do you think space exploration should be paid for by the taxpayers? How is that any benefit to human beings? Don't you think taxpayer money is better of used for more practical sciences than flying to the moon, or particle accelerators?

        1. My Esoteric profile image88
          My Esotericposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          It is those gov't funded particle accelerators that have led to the understanding of quantum physics which, with more gov't funding, has led to the understanding of nanotechnology, which with more gov't funding, has led to a probable cure in the near future for something I suffered, prostate cancer; they already have prototype treatments that are effective, just not approved.  If that technology had been available say 10 years ago, I wouldn't have had to have my prostate removed and suffer some rather embarrassing side-effects as a consequence.

          1. janesix profile image60
            janesixposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Again, why not just research directly? Or do you think we should spend 7 billion dollars for new particle accelerators every 5 years, or just spend a few million to directly research prostate cancer? A few million to research this or that?

            1. My Esoteric profile image88
              My Esotericposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Because private industry won't do it, and the economic spin-off from such research is worth many times what is spent on it, in the long-term; which benefits the public at large.  (You might want to put a 1 or 2 in front of your 5)

              Without the particle accelerator many decades ago, there would have been no solution to prostate cancer a few years from now.

              1. janesix profile image60
                janesixposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Yeah, I don't buy that.

                There are some benefits to society from those hugely expensive beasts (the space industry, and particle physics).

                I doubt you will ever be able to convince me they are worth the cost (for everyone as a whole, not just prostate cancer patients).

                Medical, psychiatric(so we can figure out what the eff is wrong with humans that we are so mentally effed to begin with) power alternatives, environmental cleanup, healthy food production, overpopulation, these are the issues that need to be scientifically researched directly to make human society a better one. Not someone's expensive pet projects. We can research particles later when we've stopped crapping in our own backyard.

                And do you know the real reason we went to the moon in the first place? It certainly wasn't for science. It was to see who could make a bigger rocket, if you know what I mean.

                1. My Esoteric profile image88
                  My Esotericposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Obviously will disagree with you on the first part, but you are right on your last statement, sadly enough.  Had we not done that, however, you would probably still be using 1960s technology today (ok, maybe 1980s); as you say, there is no short-term profit in research.

        2. GA Anderson profile image86
          GA Andersonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Especially when Astral Projection can accomplish most of the same research needs. For instance, I thought Mars was...

          GA

          1. janesix profile image60
            janesixposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Ok. Thanks for that bit of insight.

    3. rhamson profile image76
      rhamsonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      The NASA space shuttle may have been scrubbed but there are other means by which your government has been working on to get a couple of people up in space. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nati … e/1761367/
      And the Air Force has its own version now on a months long mission in outer space. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/2 … 41771.html
      While not as glamorous it is typical of our cloak of secrecy to keep technology with some military priority and at the same time carry out activities that cannot be proven as offensive. Don't worry the Russians are doing the same thing and China is scrambling to gain the same capacities.

      1. My Esoteric profile image88
        My Esotericposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I appreciate the article, #rhamon, I didn't know about the AF effort and I am sure others are trying as well.  However, part of my point is Congress left us naked and vulnerable in the interim without alternatives in case our relations with the new USSR blow up, as they are about to.  We are currently 100% on President Putin for a manned effort in space and the international space station.

        1. rhamson profile image76
          rhamsonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          These spacecraft were launched in 2010 and 2011. They were secret then and one can only imagine what the capabilities are today. While I am not sure I would bet the issue is top secret and there are contingency plans. I believe the latest mission is over six months in space. This is the way the government wanted it for awhile. Complete control to carry out whatever spooky stuff they wanted. With the recent cooling in Moscow there may be a need to expose more of these programs in order to get our guys off the space station in an emergency situation. Even now they can deliver supplies and equipment robotically. The shuttle missions were getting costly yielding little for the bean counters. The military offers more on the warring front and therefore no expense is spared.

    4. Credence2 profile image86
      Credence2posted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I agree with you ME, we are short sighted to abandon the goal of continued space exploration when there is not  even an  improved substitute for the shuttle that they mothballed. Our curiosity and desire to explore the unknown is one of the saving graces of the human species and this will be the first time since the mariners of centuries ago that we deliberately turn away from a challenge to explore, when the technology makes it possible. This does not bode well.   Instead of reaching for the stars, we choose to grovel in the mud and that is not the America I grew up in.

      1. rhamson profile image76
        rhamsonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I agree with both of you as I was only addressing the issue of American astronauts stranded in space as Russian/US relations cool. The space program was the single most springboard of ingenuity and invention that has been undertaken without war as the impetus to drive it. The computer revolution alone that required light compact intelligence to go onboard was phenomenal. Unfortunately this country is comfortable with using the military weapons programs to inspire ingenuity and make the service industry the replacement for jobs lost in the abandonment of programs like the space program. Besides what about Tang!

        1. My Esoteric profile image88
          My Esotericposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Yes, there is always Tang :-).   Since WW I, great innovation in America has occurred largely (say 70%/30%) as a result of war itself; preparation for defense; direct, non-military gov't programs; or gov't-funded, non-military programs.

        2. MizBejabbers profile image89
          MizBejabbersposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          It ain’t just Tang, my friends, the International Space Station’s laboratory may hold the key to many medical breakthroughs. Zero-gravity experiments on loss of bone mass and the accelerated growing of stem cells are just a couple of things they’re working on that can benefit people with osteoporosis, stroke victims and other dread diseases.These experiments can't be done with the same results on the ground, so I certainly don't begrudge their being done in space. The Mayo Clinic is involved in space medicine. Here are a couple of good articles:  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/maga … pg4-7.html

          http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 … 143658.htm
          I have no desire to go to space, but it would really be nice if my son who has a fatal autoimmune disease could be cured as a result of stem cell experimentation. This may be a selfish reason, but I am for anything that could help him or other sick people.

          1. My Esoteric profile image88
            My Esotericposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Oh, I would; if I only had the money ... and Putin were friendlier.

  2. psycheskinner profile image80
    psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago

    I think having a manned space program is part of our fundamental duty as humans who face perils for space, and will have to eventually make our home away from this planet.  It is sad that the only country really making progress in this area gave it up.

    1. My Esoteric profile image88
      My Esotericposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I don't see a difference between the exploration of space and say the King and Queen of Spain funding Columbus's mission or federal governments spending in the great expansion westward.  What I do regret, to humanity's everlasting shame, is the genocide caused along the way; which if you take a quick look back into history, seems to be the modus operandi of any such exploration.

 
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