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no_way

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Didnt they predict we would all by flying around (on earth) in our own little hovercrafts many years ago? Never happened but it doesnt mean progress hasnt been made<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Have you given any thought to WHY any of this didnt happen ? Hint: it has relatively little to do with technology issues.<br />Bonus points for figuring out why largescale space development didnt happen as it was imagined. Again, technology isnt the issue.
 
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no_way

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Finally, NASA is back on the exploration path again.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />This has yet to be seen. Currently there are PLANS to go exploring with humans beyond LEO, but as far back as i can remember, there have ALWAYS been some plans or others.<br /><br />As long as there isnt metal being bent on actual lunar hardware, its just plans, and even with current plans that even doesnt start in a few years.<br /><br />tongue in cheek: I think the fastest path to moon for NASA is to actually stack all their plans and viewgraphs in a huge pile, altogether the stack should just about reach moon by now.
 
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kelvinzero

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Im all for getting humans into space but there is a bit of a cringe factor with each shuttle launch and reentry. I'd be perfectly happy with crash test dummies if they did the job. Didnt asfixiate: check, didnt explode: check.. Hurrah, a success! We need something worth the risk.<br /><br />Perhaps it is just that NASA has not been good at explaining what scientific achievements it has been ticking off it's checklist with manned spaceflight over the last thirty years but when people mention missions to mars NASA quotes so many unknowns it feels like none of that science has been directed to resolving them.
 
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spacelifejunkie

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"I think the fastest path to moon for NASA is to actually stack all their plans and viewgraphs in a huge pile, altogether the stack should just about reach moon by now."<br /><br />That's too funny. no_way, we agree more than you might think. I've always claimed that private enterprise will beat NASA to the moon. Not because NASA is incapable but because of executive and legislative influences from above. Who knows what will happen to VSE after a couple of presidential and congressional elections? But at least the vision has changed. The only thing left is the execution. I predict that NASA will buy rockets from SpaceX and rent lunar stations from Bigelow before they reach the moon themselves. I wish it were not so.<br /><br /><br />SLJ
 
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crossovermaniac

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Maybe Weinberg should ask himself could sciences like oceanography or the exploration of Antarctica been performed using unmanned probes?
 
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qso1

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no_way:<br />One viewpoint, not mine /> one of these investments goes toward securing the energy future and geopolitical position, another can indeed be seen as a pure waste.<br /><br />Me:<br />To those who may hold that point of view, I would mention that securing the energy future by depending on a foreign producer wont work unless securing our energy future means we take over that foreign producer nation. Not to mention the Iraq $100B dollars annually is about six times NASAs entire annual budget or around 12 times that which we spend on human spaceflight. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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tomnackid

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Having worked in scientific research I can tell you with out a shadow of a doubt the most petty, spiteful, jealous people in the world are research scientists! They would easily give opera divas a run for their money! Maybe it comes from the constant, intense pressure to continuously chase grant money--but I can tell you I never met a scientist who wouldn't tell you (loudly ussually) that money is being wasted on so-and-so's reasearch when it could be put to better use on his or her pet project.
 
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j05h

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<i>> Having worked in scientific research I can tell you with out a shadow of a doubt the most petty, spiteful, jealous people in the world are research scientists!</i><br /><br />The smaller the pie, the harder the fight over it. This is why academic's fights over budgets and other people's tax money are so intense. Add some reputation issues (ie. direct competition) and it gets downright bloody.<br /><br />josh <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div align="center"><em>We need a first generation of pioneers.</em><br /></div> </div>
 
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anthmartian

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I am not against manned flight. However, in my opinion this new dawn of manned exploration we are supposed to have entered is not really backed up by a budget where it can be delivered realistically. many of us fear this could lead to compromizes and short cuts which could come back and haunt us later on in the shape of added expenses. Something like we've seen before.<br /><br />If the budget is ever there to return to the Moon properly and onwards to Mars then great!<br /><br />As it is not there, i feel the overall space exploration budget should be divided up fairly. By that i mean the methods used to do the most science, and deliver the best results, and rack up the most amount of "exploration" be given the larger share of funds. That seems logical to me at least.<br /><br />For example, if you had two employees and one was less productive, and used more resources to carry out a lesser amount of work, and another employee who was extremely productive, and operated on a fraction of the expenses that the other guy did, who would you give the most work to? Who would you commit the most resources to? Who would you drop? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em>"Traveling through hyperspace ain't like dusting crops, boy! Without precise calculations we could fly right through a star, or bounce too close to a supernova and that'd end your trip real quick, wouldn't it?"</em></font></p><p><font color="#33cccc"><strong>Han Solo - 1977 - A long time ago in a galaxy far far away....</strong></font></p><p><br /><br />Click Here And jump over to my site.<br /></p> </div>
 
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anoolios

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Some of the anger and angst directed towards NASA's manned spaceflight programs is due to perceptual factors. That the manned spaceflight efforts are now percieved as siphoning off funds from research and unmanned spaceflight programs has encouraged a nasty and worsening psychological dynamic. NASA would do well to recognize and address this, the result of such bickering is very hurtful to all sides.<br /><br />Personally, I feel the overall value and importance of the manned spaceflight programs is very low relative to research science and unmanned spaceflight, NASA's budget should reflect this (it doesn't). However, the manned spaceflight programs have extremely high value and importance compared to many other large US govt. expenditures. Therefore, even though I'm not big on manned spaceflight, I need to support both manned and unmanned efforts. They both deserve much much more funding!<br /><br />NASA is encouraging bad feelings and negativity between the communities. <b>To prevent this negative situation NASA needs to clearly and emphatically financially firewall off the manned spaceflight programs from other areas. </b> If funding cuts for a particular research or unmanned spaceflight program are necessary they should not be percieved as being due to siphoning off by the manned programs.<br /><br />We who are interested in science and spaceflight need to be aware of the negative perceptions that real or percieved "funding siphoning" can create, and support all of the efforts attempting to move us collectively forward.<br />
 
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askold

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"the manned spaceflight efforts are now percieved as siphoning off funds from research and unmanned spaceflight programs .."<br /><br />I think it's more than a perception. Consider this:<br /><br />"LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) -- NASA has capped funding for a remote sensor being developed by Los Alamos National Laboratory for the Mars Science Laboratory rover. <br /><br />"We didn't stop their work, but they're vastly overpriced and we have not been able to curtail that," said Alan Stern, head of science at NASA in Washington, D.C. <br /><br />NASA told the project "you have to finish with the money you have," Stern said Tuesday. ..."<br /><br />I've never heard of a cap for the billions spent on fiddling with the foam on the ET and the resultant delays.
 
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j05h

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<i>> Blah blah blah blah.. More space is for science crap....</i><br /><br />Well, that's a positive attitude.<br /><br />J <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div align="center"><em>We need a first generation of pioneers.</em><br /></div> </div>
 
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frodo1008

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Then try to understand this one. Without the relatively high profile of the manned programs, NASA itself is doomed.<br /><br />Now it would then seem that many of the space scientists would then be happy as the space probe programs would probably go to an organization such as the National Science Foundation. And that would probably even make you happy.<br /><br />But such happiness would be short lived, because all the scientists whose work did not involve space or robotic probes at all would then start on what was left of the program, and eventually there would be NO governmental space effort at all.<br /><br />This would ONLY leave the for profit space efforts, and direct science is NOT profitable to such people as CEO's from non aerospace companies. And even aerospace companies do not usually fund direct scientific research, that is usually either left up to the government or the relatively cash starved universities. <br /><br />So we would eventually end up with NOTHING at all for a space program. Although perhaps for those countries that are more far seeing into the future that will not be true, so perhaps humanity over all would have a future, but the US certainly would not be a part of it!<br /><br />And I am, and have been a patriotic enough a tax payer to think that would be tragic for such a great nation that started out so very well!!!<br /><br />Is that post more understandable?<br /><br />
 
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anthmartian

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I understand it....<br /><br />But i feel it relies heavily on assumptions, and supposed events taking place. Or that manned flights to the ISS are higher profile than say, Mars Rovers? Which i feel is not the case.<br /><br />I do not feel alone in the fact that i prefer and am more interested in looking at Mars Rover imagery, recent data from Cassini's fly past of Iapetus, or Hubbles back catalogue of glorious pictures. Than i am in some astronauts ( who nobody hardly these days can name, which demonstrates how high profile manned flight is. ) pictured with a spanner or something.<br /><br />I do support manned flight. I am all for going back to the Moon. I am ecstatic about seeing humans on Mars one day. Unfortunately nice cg animations of new launch vehicles, moon bases, or Mars colonies do not make reality happen. I have seen plans, even ones with very nice cg animations come and go before. <br /><br />The manned flight bunch have consistently blown it over and over again when it comes to a reasonable and well run program. It is responsible for denying us a larger knowledge of the Solar System by depriving the unmanned projects of funds. It might be easy to say scientists always say this about such things, but it is a fact! <br /><br />They have reason to complain. maybe it would be appreciated more if Shuttle flights were cancelled in favour of a Europa lander? We all know foam takes priority over that type of frivolous endeavour, so relax, it would never happen!<br /><br />I feel statements such as "NASA needs humans in space" is a bit of an insult to the public. Who i happen to know from experience very much like and are fascinated by the decades of imagery from unmanned probes. I have more faith i guess. That a total break from manned flight until they have the means and the equipment to carry out a real manned "exploration" . Would not see the public turning away, and voting down space activities. <br /><br />I know you guys are intelligent, you know we do not need a sp <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em>"Traveling through hyperspace ain't like dusting crops, boy! Without precise calculations we could fly right through a star, or bounce too close to a supernova and that'd end your trip real quick, wouldn't it?"</em></font></p><p><font color="#33cccc"><strong>Han Solo - 1977 - A long time ago in a galaxy far far away....</strong></font></p><p><br /><br />Click Here And jump over to my site.<br /></p> </div>
 
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frodo1008

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Why oh why, do I always have to keep explaining. Like most of those that support manned exploration I too fully support NASA in its robotic space science efforts!<br /><br />The problem is (like the individuals that both started this thread, and who the thread is about) is that most of those on the other side of the support scale would do away with the manned program entirely, And believe me while he may enjoy acting as just a messenger here, askold by many of his past posts would indeed do away with the manned program. Although I do not hold this against him personally, and am more than willing to accept a more reasonable position from him at any time!<br /><br />And without the manned program, what goals would NASA then have for its vision? And without such a vision why have a NASA at all?<br /><br />I too, fully enjoy the information being brought back by our robotic probes, and consider that it is essential that such a prgram be continued, this is in particular true for Mars, as we do eventually plan to have human beings eventually go there.<br /><br />There are even some very interesting places (such as Europa and Io) that it might just be that human beings will never be able to go. In the case of Europa and Io because of extremely high radiation by their being so close to Jupiter.<br /><br />What is needed by the relatively small space support community (and that includes scientists) is a united front to enable NASA to obtain increased funding for ALL its extremely worthwhile activities! <br /><br />THAT IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT!!!!!!!<br /><br />
 
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no_way

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>enable NASA to obtain increased funding for ALL its extremely worthwhile activities! <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Huh, thats something new. To declare ALL some organizations activities extremely worthwhile in one fell swoop ... <br />I dont know, i work for a company with just few hundreds of employees and i can assure you, a bunch of activities going on in this company are not worthwhile, and its not just my opinion, you could poll the employees and they would declare some of the projects bollocks with an overwhelming majority.<br /><br />Is NASA somehow so magically different that they can do no wrong ?
 
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askold

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So, your logic is that NASA exists because of the manned program and the unmanned science program is a happy beneficiary of that. Even if the science program only gets the crumbs left over after the manned program has had its fill - that's better than nothing, which is what the science program would get if there were no manned program.<br /><br />I'm doubtful.
 
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frodo1008

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OK, fellows, I give up, there is absolutely no educating you people at all (and I thought that almost all such people weree over on free space).<br /><br />However, as I am a masochist by nature, I can at least try one more time with at least you.<br /><br />I believe NASA's manned programs to be worthwhile (and so does congress luckily). Desipe what askold might say I also believe the the robotic space science to be worthwhile also.<br /><br />Then there is the aero flight type of activities, which have placed our aircraft manufactures among the best in the world. I consider that to be very worthwhile also.<br /><br />Now, that is about 90% of NASA's total funding. Then there are the inevitable administrative costs, which make up most of the rest. Also, there are the excellent educational programs of NASA.<br /><br />Now, I would agree that there is always some waste in any human organization, SO I guess you would also find this in NASA. But on the whole there are few organizations either private or government that do as good a job at doing worthwhile activities as NASA!<br /><br />This is one of the major reasons why this country is STILL runing in the black on one industry in world trade, and that is our aerospace industry! NASA may not be just the only reason for this, but it is a big part of the reason, and I think that even congress realizes this!<br /><br />And for that I am pleased, whether or not you are or not is entirely up to you, but I do believe that is the majority opinion on these boards.<br /><br />
 
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holmec

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>To declare ALL some organizations activities extremely worthwhile in one fell swoop ...<br />I dont know, i work for a company with just few hundreds of employees and i can assure you, a bunch of activities going on in this company are not worthwhile, and its not just my opinion, you could poll the employees and they would declare some of the projects bollocks with an overwhelming majority.<br /><br />Is NASA somehow so magically different that they can do no wrong ?<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Actually ...YES! NASA is not a company. Its unique in the US. There is no replacement for it, and decisions are made by scientific curiosity and government politics. No commercial company can say that because they are ruled by the bottom line...profit.<br /><br />Now like in the Military I think there is such a thing as Fraud Waste and Abuse program in NASA. But that would be one of maybe few options to counter any useless activity. And ultimately a Congressional hearing. But how effective those are....well....I guess that is subject for debate.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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frodo1008

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Go to the following link (it is a NASA site, but you did say you used NASA sites without prejudice):<br /><br />ftp://ftp.hq.nasa.gov/pub/pao/budget/2003/charts.pdf<br /><br />Then please note the steady progression from 2001 (Space Science 7.1 billion, Manned Space 7.2 billion), to 2007 (Space Science 10.6 billion, Manned Space 5.9 billion).<br /><br />Now if these are the poor crumbs that Space Science has been so forced to live with over the last seven years, then it IS Space Science that is wasting most of NASA's budget, and NOT Manned Space!<br /><br />And further note, that from last year to this year, while Manned Space finally increased by 100 million, so did Space Science!<br /><br />Now I was able to get this information by using both Google, and then NASA's own search engine, and I must admit to not being the greatest at these cyberspace activities. <br /><br />So whether or not you are the messenger, at the very least DO try to find out the truth before making statements on these boards!<br /><br /><br /><br />
 
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askold

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The crumbs I'm refering to are program cuts to important projects like Mars Science Laboratory due to a $75M over-run.<br /><br />Can you imagine anybody on the shuttle program worrying about $75M?
 
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frodo1008

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YES, I can imagine it! However, as I am now getting good at going out to Google to find information, and I did this again!<br /><br />And your killing off this important project is vastly pre mature.<br /><br />Another site (I can't even imagine that you have not already been here!):<br /><br />http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Changes_to_Mars_Science_Lab_Project_Respond_to_Cost_Increases_And_Keep_Program_On_Track_999.html<br /><br />From a total reading of the article I can see where some compromises were needed to keep this project on budget.<br /><br />But heck, the ENTIRE space shuttle program (despite your inferences) was a compromise in its original costs also. And it was this that eventually made it more expensive, but that is NOT NASA's fault, but the congress that nickel and dime the project to death in the beginning, so we could afford another of our many wars!<br /><br />But according to the real experts at JPL the Mars Science Laboratory is very well, thank you!<br /><br />The real problem with the Space Science programs is that there is indeed just to much to do (it is a very big solar system after all), and too many scientists with their pet projects. I did notice that you didn't even comment on the FACT that the Space Science budget has gone from half of NASA's funding to two thirds of NASA's funding from 2001 to 2007.<br /><br />While the manned budget has actually shrunk by a like amount! So why don't you stop whining and crying about this!<br /><br />It is also evident from that chart that IF NASA's budget were to increase then BOTH the Space Science budget and the Manned budget would benefit. And it IS this that we should be working towards!
 
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kdavis007

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Yes they are.. Every time something goes wrong at NASA, there are calls to have it shutdown no matter what..
 
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