Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by flameofanor5, Sep 24, 2009.
Then again I'm against space travel in general.
Do you mean manned travel or all space travel ?
and Why ?
Mostly because there are starving people in the world. I don't think it's morally wrong, I'm just against starving children. Of course, we couldn't just take the money used for studying it to feed hungry people. Considering most of their money is from donors, who expect results.
Starving people?? Since when is it one country's job to save the poor starving people in some other country?
This argument ("we have so many problems ...") can be used to justify eliminating all spending on science and technology. Cancel all public spending, tax the bejesus out of private entities so they can't spend anything on science and technology. The problem with this argument is that spending on science and technology, public and private, is what propels society forward. Without this forward motion, we would stagnate -- and then the world would be wall-to-wall starving people.
Spending money to feed starving people will not lift those people out of the morass in which they exist. Without jobs with which they can buy their own food, they will still be starving tomorrow. To lift them out of their situation, we need to motivate them to improve their own situation and give them the means by which they can do this. Feeding them is not the solution. Educating them is a start, but only a start.
Spending money on starving people is a luxury, a luxury we would soon abandon if society went to all to hell. End spending on advancing society and society will go all to hell.
Note how I said (or at least meant to say) that since NASA runs so much on donations it would not be possible to give that money to help those who need it. In my opinion, it would be money better spent, I didn't say it was our job.
Where in the world did you get the notion that "NASA runs so much on donations"? It does in a sense run on donations -- but only in the sense that the military, the highway department, welfare, and now General Motors run on "donations". Fail to make those "donations" and you will of course go to jail.
You shouldn't be because without it we're all *maybe* dead in 400,000 years and definitely dead in 5 mil years.
We'll be a different species in 400,000 years; look at where our direct ancestors were 400 K years ago. If we get out into space, we'll become a whole bunch of seperate species, because every time we adapt to a new environment on another planet, we'll be removing ourselves genetically further and further away from our Terran human origins.
First off, where did you get these numbers? Sans an external threat such as an extremely massive asteroid or gamma ray burst wiping out all life (not much chance in either), the Earth will remain habitable for another billion years, give or take a factor of two. The Sun will turn into a red giant in five billion years or so, but that will only fry a long-dead Earth. Along the way to that red giant phase, the energy output of the Sun increases by about 1% every 110 million years. A couple billion years from now the Sun will have gotten warm enough to evaporate all of the oceans, triggering true runaway global warming. A billion years from now the Earth's interior will have cooled to the extent that plate tectonics will come to a standstill. Half a billion years from now carbon dioxide levels will have fallen to the point that C[sub]3[/sub] photosynthesis will come to a halt; most plant life will die. Half a billion years is still a long, long time from now.
Secondly, suppose your worst case number, 400,000 years, is wildly optimistic. Suppose we only have 4,000 years left before catastrophe strikes. Playing devil's advocate, where is the motivating factor that compels us to be involved in space exploration now? 4,000 years ago humanity barely knew how to write and had not yet started working with iron. Humanity has changed a lot in 4,000 years, and will probably change even more in the next 4,000 years. Maybe we should just solve all the problems we have right here on Earth first and worry about going into space later. Much later.
Note well: I do not agree with this sentiment at all; I was playing devil's advocate.
I say let them starve it is alled population control the earth can only keeps so many things alive on it. I am for exploring space and think they need to ramp it up a notch. All so people are forgetting one thing the Moon is drifting away from earth every year it moves farther away. Eventually it will break the gravitational hold earth has on it and fly off into space. And then we will be really screwed so that anlone is why we need to explore space. IMHO
Why would we be screwed if (note: not when) the moon went?
I think we may be spending too much on manned missions, but I'm not against space exporation.
The vast majority of starving people in the world are not starving because the rest of us are not motivated to help them. They are starving because they live in countries that are under the control of despotic governments who feel no sense of responsiblity toward their constituents.
Americans are one of the world's most generous peoples. With our low population density (even California is mostly forest and farmland) and our efficient, high-tech corporate agriculture, we have one of the world's largest food surpluses. We ship food to the Third World by the boatload. It is intercepted there by corrupt leaders who sell it on the black market and use the money to buy weapons, champagne, Hummers, hookers and Mediterranean villas.
De-funding NASA is not going to solve this problem.
You should hold off on criticizing the United States until you're learned a little more about us. Our international charity efforts are strongly supported by churches and other institutions funded by private contributions, but our space program is paid for entirely by tax money.
That certainly is a huge cause of the problem. Another cause is the lack of infrastructure in those nations where extreme poverty is the rule. The infrastructure of Europe in the Dark Ages was better than the paltry infrastructure that exists in some of underdeveloped nations. Yet another is overpopulation. We who live in the developed world have had 200 years to learn how to tame our native instinct to have lots and lots babies. A high birth rate was our inborn solution to the problem of infant death. The generosity of the developed world has changed a high birth rate from being a solution to a natural problem into an problem.
De-funding NASA is not going to solve any one of these problems. Most of the changes needed to solve the starvation problem need to come from within in those countries where starvation is rampant. Where money can help is in building up their infrastructure, but NASA's puny budget is not going to do much in that regard.
That's not entirely true. There is a small commercial space segment. Many, if not most, of the spacecraft in geosynchronous orbit are owned and operated by corporations rather than governments. That said, corporations do not sink money any into space exploration (yet) for the simple reason that there isn't any profit in it (yet).
Why would we be screwed if (note: not when) the moon went?[/QUOTE]
We will be screwed Note WHEN the moons leaves orbit as all tidal functions will stop and that will effect weather paterns as well as plate tectonics will all so slow which will result in the cooling of the core which will result in the lose of the magnitic feild that protects us from the sun which will result in pretty much everything dying. So yeah it would not be good.
Ok, well I think you would agree that we spend alot more money on other things than space travel that, if we were in a perfect society would or could be eliminated.
Since we don't and maybe never will, there will always be starving kids unfortunately. I agree it's a shame, but there are a lot of reasons for it and I think ultimately we need to take care of ours and those around us. We are not all Bill Gates, and neither can people like him force people to plan families around their ability or the communities ability to take care of them.
So I would argue that when the total budget is considered we spend way to little on education, health care, low income support (housing/food etc) and space travel.
I would like to see much more emphasis on the sciences, including trying to figure out how to travel the stars, and even if that is possible.
I think it is imperative to keep going and see if we can expand to new planets and spread out as fast as we can. Improving our odds at survival. I think that it is in us to keep searching.
That doesn't mean we don't continue to try and solve problems here.
There is little reason to do robotic space exploration without the motivating factor than humankind will follow. Without that motivating factor, space exploration has to compete with other scientific endeavors on its own merits. Space exploration would count as pretty lousy science if it were evaluated solely in terms of bang for the buck. The cost of unmanned probe done on the cheap is in the hundreds of millions of dollars. A hundred million can support hoards of graduate students rooting around in some archeological dig, fund research in the next telecommunications breakthrough, and support research into a cure for some nasty disease.
Two nations outspend all other nations combined when it comes to robotic space exploration. Those two nations also happen to be the two nations that outspend all other nations combined when it comes to human space exploration.
Back in the 1960s a particular nation had a vibrant space exploration program. However, the space scientists in this nation were jealous of the sums of money that country spent on getting ready for human space exploration. Those space scientists convinced that nation's legislative branch to proscribe government spending on human space exploration. That proscription continues to this day. Great Britain spends a paltry 0.05% of its federal budget on space exploration, the vast majority of which is sent abroad to the European Space Agency. Needless to say, very few space scientists can find employment in Great Britain.
If we could shift say half the Earth's population to Mars we'd relieve a lot of the strain on the Earth's natural resources... not that Mars could support those people right now. The point is the Earth has only finite resources and we are burning through them at an accelerating pace, so we better spend money making at least solar-system travel a bit easier now before we run out of the resources to do it. Our precious oil will be pretty hard to get out of the ground in less than 50 years and it is probably hard to launch things into space on biofuels...
The whole space elevator thing is a good step forward, I really hope it gets built.
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