Do you think the landing of the Rosetta probe on the comet was a complete waste of money?
Yes, yes I do. Yes, yes I do. Yes, yes I do. Yes, yes I do.
No........ Because this mission could serve as an answer to many questions that may need answers in the future. One comes to mind is a major what if.
If there was a big meteor headed for earth it would be safer to latch on and guide it away, than to blast it into a thousand dangerous pieces that could shower a populated area.
Nope, not at all a waste of money. Unfortunately it's in the nature of science and technology that progress comes slowly and builds on what's gone before. You simply can't start with a fantastic mission / invention which does wondrous things and can never be improved upon. First steps are always limited. But the improvements and progress will not come without that initial first step.
Almost every scientific and engineering achievement in the history of mankind was of limited value when it first took place. I'm sure when the Wright brothers took their first few flights and the best they managed was 852 ft before crashing, someone shook their head and said 'what's the point in that? What a waste of time!'
Admittedly that didn't cost a fortune to do, so it didn't waste money, but ANY advanced scientific undertaking of this kind today does cost money, and the benefits are not always immediately apparent to everyone. But without taking steps such as this, our knowledge of space objects and space travel - and ultimately our ability to use space objects and space travel for our benefit - will never progress.
On a lighter note, it reminds me of that old joke: They say the wheel is the greatest invention in history. But the guy who invented the first wheel was no use to anyone except monocyclists - It was the guy who improved upon it by inventing the second wheel and an axle to go between them who made the breakthrough. :-)
Previous space missions and other technological pushes to the stars have provided advances in science that filtered down to the general public. Examples are evident in communications and surveillance, just as advances in military hardware have come to us in mobile phones, computers and other gizmos that have flooded high street stores.
Since Wernher von Braun was snatched from the line-up of war criminals (he and his team produced the V1 and V2 Flying Bombs that killed many in Britain, France and Belgium), by-products of the space race have made our lives easier or enabled us to 'see and speak' across the world with Skype and more advanced computer hard- and software.
Just a shame all those millions had to be spent on sending man and machine up into the void before we benefited.
Giving more money to incompetent politicians who claim to do what is best for us (while most of what they are doing couldn't be further from the truth) would be waste of money. Improving scientific knowledge is always of value, even if the investments may be slower in returning. Every single one of those accomplishments is a step we can build on in the future, after all.
No, unless you think any form of research is a waste of money. How are you enjoying your internet? It look a lot of work to develop this level of technology with many people 40 years ago saying it was a waste of time.
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